I’m told NEA is encouraging its activists not to look back at the 2016 elections and the union’s endorsement process because next time the candidates and situation will be different.
I can understand this thinking, because the last thing NEA wants is for its most active members and elected officers to evaluate the union’s campaign performance.
I’ve only just come across some detailed last-minute campaign strategy from last October and it illustrates just how big NEA’s failure was.
In addition to all the usual motivational efforts to get the membership-at-large to promote Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, NEA selected six battleground states for maximum effort – not only using teachers and union staff from those states, but deploying teachers and union staff from neighboring states.
The targeted states were Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Trump won four of those six states, but it is the margin of victory that really makes one question NEA’s strategy and effectiveness.
Clinton’s victories in Nevada and New Hampshire came by an average of 2.4 points and a combined total of 29,938 votes.
Trump’s victories in Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania came by an average of 5.5 points and a combined total of 811,762 votes.
It’s entirely possible that NEA is conducting secret evaluations of its political operations and I just don’t know about them. But everything I am seeing suggests the union is prepared to carry on as it always has. If so, it’s good news for Republicans, no matter what kind of nuttiness Trump gets up to.