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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

EFCA–Still Alive and Kicking

After a barrage of big business advertising, and some criticism of the legislation from a couple of Blue Dog Democrats, one might expect that prospects for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (a.k.a. “card-check”) any time soon would be dim. But it’s not quite so simple as that.
As Jeanne Cummings explains at Politico today, the business community may have overplayed its hand on EFCA, particularly by focusing its campaign on provisions of EFCA that could change in a labor-backed compromise proposal. Anticipating this change of dynamics, business lobbyists are already beginning to shift their arguments against EFCA from the “don’t abolish the secret ballot!” line to one that simply suggests that the economy can’t tolerate an increase in unionization.
Meanwhile, Gallup has a new poll out showing that EFCA is favored by 53% of Americans, with 39% opposing it. Follow-up questions indicate that the respondents who are most closely following the “debate” over EFCA tend to tilt in a negative direction, but since much of the public “debate” has consisted of anti-EFCA ads focusing on the “secret ballot” issue, that’s not suprising. And more importantly, if the anti-EFCA talking points continue to shift towards generic “unions are bad” rhetoric, opinion on EFCA is likely to begin polarizing on that much more general topic.

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