By Steve Gunn
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thus far, President Obama’s re-election strategy has been based on attacking Mitt Romney, rather than citing his own record in office.
Now it appears the National Education Association may have to employ the same strategy to get out the vote for Obama.
A recent poll of 750 NEA activists and the same number of rank-and-file members had to be sobering for the Obama campaign. While the union members clearly favor Obama over Romney, which is not surprising considering the NEA’s open hatred for Republicans, the members are clearly “not energized for the election,” according to a recent blog post by Mike Antonucci.
GBA Strategies, which conducted the poll for the union, recommended that more work be done to mobilize union members to actively support Obama, “even if that means concentrating on educating them about how bad the alternative is.”
We suppose that means very few teachers still believe in “change we can believe in.”
According to the poll, thirty percent of union activists strongly approve of Obama’s job performance, while 12 percent strongly disapprove. The rest obviously fell somewhere in the middle. But among the rank-and-file members polled (who represent a much larger segment of union membership), only 19 percent strongly approve of the President’s performance, while 20 percent strongly disapprove.
Union activists supported Obama over Romney 70-16 percent, but only 49 percent described their support as being “strong.” Rank-and-file members went for Obama 56-26 percent, but only 36 percent said their support was “strong.”
And get this: “Only 10 percent of the rank-and-file and 13 percent of the activists were ‘very likely’ to join Educators for Obama, the NEW PAC volunteer group. Twenty-four percent in each group were ‘not likely at all’ to do so. And even among those likely to join, large percentages (said they) wouldn’t talk to the media, recruit others, or volunteer for two hours a month,” according to the Antonucci blog.
All of this begs a simple question – if the Obama campaign is struggling to nail down the support of one of its most dependable constituencies, how is it going to fare with the millions of independent voters who decide every presidential election?