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Social rifts impact GOTV, PAC efforts

Groups seek to avoid controversy; Chamber rocked by plan to back more Democrats

Aug. 28, 2020
By William Ehart

There’s a lot at stake for associations and their members this election year, but the polarization of voters is something to be considered in activities such as candidate contributions and get-out-the-vote efforts.

Among the issues triggering voters’ emotions, none cuts so deeply as that of racial equity. Corporations are being challenged on whether their internal policies and political donations match lofty social justice statements. Associations have to weigh elected officials’ past support for their industries against comments and actions that may be considered offensive.

Beyond that, a consistent refrain from association leaders interviewed by CEO Update is that they want candidates committed to governing and bipartisan compromise.

Many trade groups typically favor Republicans, whose control of the Senate and White House may be in jeopardy. That's still true, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has caused a firestorm among some members, and worry in the GOP, for its proposal to endorse nearly two dozen freshmen House Democrats this year, Politico reported.