- Aware of waning political influence and hoping to put state legislative and executive offices back in Democratic control, teacher unions are sending members into the streets to galvanize voters.
- This is no low-grade effort, either — the unions are backed by millions of dollars and data mining tools that help them tailor their pitches to potential voters.
- According to Politico, the primary focus is on getting rid of incumbent Republican Governors like "Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Florida’s Rick Scott and Michigan’s Rick Snyder."
Having teachers hit the campaign trail is key, according to National Education Association political director Karen White. As White explained to Politico, "If someone knocks on your door and says, ‘I’m Mark, I’m from the state Democratic Party,’ you take the literature and shut the door. If you say, ‘Hi, I’m Karen, I’m a third-grade teacher at Hillsmere Elementary and I’m here to tell you what’s at stake for public education,’ that gets a very different reaction from the voter.”
Despite the gallant efforts on the unions' part, Politico ends the piece explaining that Republicans aren't quite threatened, as the Republican Governors Association and Republican State Leadership Committee have raised considerably more money than the competition, especially compared to the 2010 elections..
It's interesting to see the unions switch their focus. For quite some time, the Obama administration's education officials — namely, Arne Duncan — have been at the center of many union members' frustrations.