Operations

CUNA Analyzes Mid-Term Election Results

CUs had a strong night despite the loss of some Democratic friends.

November 03, 2010
KEYWORDS candidates , house , reform , senate
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Results in key races

Of course, this record involvement would be for naught had we not succeeded in helping elect our credit union friends in these key races. Of the ten races on the ballot yesterday in which we invested in paid voter communications, we won eight.

We won a major victory in Nevada, where our independent expenditure (IE) helped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) win a key victory for Democrats on an otherwise difficult evening.

CULAC’s other IEs, with one exception, also resulted in victories for strong credit union friends. Our statewide radio buy for Republican Rep. Roy Blunt in the Missouri Senate race helped him win easily. Freshman Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) won with the help of CULAC direct mail. And Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a credit union champion in the Colorado legislature, defeated incumbent Rep. Betsy Markey, a Democrat, with assistance from CULAC radio ads.

Our partisan communications campaigns, in which leagues and credit unions mailed to credit union members, were similarly successful. Incumbents and credit union champions Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) won, while many of their Democratic colleagues lost. We believe their success can be attributed at least in part to our efforts.

Credit union mailings also helped Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) win an open seat and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) defeat incumbent Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy.

We did lose two key races: that of credit union champion Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.). Despite our best efforts—we mailed more than 50,000 pieces of mail to credit union households and organized volunteer canvassing and phone banking efforts—the Republican wave, particularly in Pennsylvania, proved too much for Rep. Kanjorski.

Indeed, the result confirms what our internal polling had indicated in the weeks leading up to the election. While this is obviously a difficult loss for credit unions, it also demonstrates why we have worked so hard to develop new up-and-coming champions on both sides of the aisle.

It should also be noted that while we were successful in eight of the ten races in which we conducted paid communication efforts, there are many other races involving credit union friends in which we couldn’t help in a similar fashion given the unprecedented number of competitive races and our limited resources.

In determining which races to engage, our political affairs staff works closely with leagues, the CULAC Executive Committee, and professional political pollsters and consultants.

Given the resources available, including not only funds but credit union penetration in a given district, we try to invest in races where we can make a difference in the outcome. This is a key component of our strategy to expand our base of credit union support in both the House and Senate.

We are confident though, that our successes can be attributed to the strong, favorable image of credit unions, both among our own members and the voting public at large.

Throughout the year, CUNA’s research and polling indicated that voters react favorably to both candidates endorsed by credit unions and to candidates who support credit union issue positions.

The election results, particularly in the races where we communicated directly with credit union members, bear that out and offer a road map not only for future efforts at the ballot box but for grassroots campaigns on credit union legislation as well.

Next: What’s the outlook for CUs?

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive