The Washington Times - November 3, 2009, 08:01PM

A leading anti-Employee Free Choice Act group hopes Republican Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial win on Tuesday proves that other candidates must oppose “card check” if they want to win economy voters in the 2010 elections.

46 percent of Virginia voters said the economy and jobs were their number one voting issue, according to exit polls and the anti-EFCA Workforce Fairness Institute said in post-election memo obtained by the Washington Times that Mr. McDonnell’s willingness to speak out against EFCA was a key factor in convincing Virginia voters he’d be able to create more jobs than Democrat Creigh Deeds.

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The labor-backed Mr. Deeds has said he had “concerns” about the bill and never openly supported it, but he never opposed it outright, either. It was obvious, however, that Mr. McDonnell was firmly against it. The Republican described it as “very un-American” and “anti-competitive” in one interview with the Fairfax County Times, bashed it on national cable news networks and promised the Virginia’s Manufacturers Association on a conference call he’d “use every resource of my office” to keep it from being passed.

“And while it is true that a host of issues played a role in the race, it is difficult to argue that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act or EFCA was not central to the debate and had a dramatic impact in favor of one candidate while damaging another,” WFI’s memo said.

After citing numerous news stories documenting the financial contributions Mr. Deeds received from labor groups and the difficulty he seemed to have taking a strong “for” or “against” position on the bill, the memo concluded: “Creigh Deeds encountered in Virginia the resistance EFCA supporters will meet in close races across the country in 2010: that an overwhelming number of voters – including union households – columnists, editorial boards, and independent organizations all oppose the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act and will fail to support any candidate who doesn’t speak out against it in unequivocal terms.”

But the pro-EFCA American Rights at Work Press Secretary Josh Goldstein says WFI is engaging in wishful thinking and that EFCA did not play a role in the race.

“The opposition is attempting to resurrect their same failed message from last year’s election where they spent tens of millions of dollars in Senate battleground states only to have the public overwhelmingly reject their misleading campaign,” Mr. Goldstein said in an email. “Polling continues to demonstrate that voters strongly support measures to strengthen the middle class, like the Employee Free Choice Act.”