(Newsroom America) -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is moving his campaign into union-heavy battleground states, where he has put organized labor on the defensive in regions they normally control.
The Washington Times reported Friday that recent election setbacks in Wisconsin for labor-friendly Democrats and weakening support for President Obama make it possible for Romney to make inroads into union-dominated battleground states over the summer, heading into the November election.
Among 10 or so swing states, about half of them are union dominant. They include Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, where Obama's leads in recent polls have slipped into single digits and, in some cases, low single digits.
Romney is making particular headway in Ohio and Wisconsin, each of which have Obama leading only by about 1.8 percent, well within the polls' margin of error.
"Several other swing states feature right-to-work laws that significantly handcuff union power. They include Florida, Virginia, Iowa and North Carolina. In each, neither candidate has more than a 4-percentage-point average lead," the Times reported, citing average surveys gathered by RealClearPolitics.com.
"Unions have good reason to be worried about their political position, especially in state and public unions," Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told the paper. "Unions have a challenge in unifying their membership to support them and their candidates at the ballot box."
Organized labor is reeling following its failure to recall Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, earlier this month. Though labor pushed hard to oust the governor, some 40 percent of union households voted to support him.
Union officials say the defeat, however, will serve as a rallying call in the fall.
"Their courage sparked a movement and has inspired working people everywhere. That’s a beginning, not an end," Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift told the Times.
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