Trump’s Support from Union Members Takes a Dive

Union members have traditionally stumped hard for Democratic candidates, but Donald Trump managed to mix that up in the 2016 presidential election. While the unions themselves backed Hillary Clinton, a surprising number of union members cast their ballots for Trump based on his firm stance on trade, pledges to help the working man and general “outsider” appeal.

As a result, Trump got more votes from union households than any Republican in recent time, losing the union vote by just 8 percent. That popularity hasn’t held, however. Whereas Trump had 62 percent approval from union members in March of 2017, a year later he has dropped 15 points to just 47 percent.

This large decline in support is mainly due to Trump failing to live up to his words. For all of his talk about looking out for the average worker, his political actions have more so focused on padding the pockets of the rich. He’s also needlessly set the groundwork for trade wars. Union members have paid attention to these factors.

Speaking to Reuters, Ken Jones, a Teamster in Oklahoma, said, “Now I see [Trump’s] not going to do anything. The working man don’t get nothing out of it. I never voted Republican until Trump, and it was the worst mistake I ever made.”

It’s a mistake that many of them won’t be making again. Looking ahead to the November midterms, 47 percent of union members plan to back Democratic candidates compared to 34 percent for Republicans. In the past year, union members have increased the margin of preference for Democrats on issues like the economy, jobs, taxes and health care.

Don’t put the blame all on Trump – Republicans in Congress have done enough on their own to lose union support. The main and really only legislative accomplishment of the GOP in the past year despite having control of all three branches of government is tax reform. Alas, union members especially have been savvy to the fact that the beneficiaries of the tax cuts are the rich, not working class people, no matter how Republican leadership has tried to misrepresent it to the public.

Democrats have been criticized for taking the union vote for granted at points in the past, but Republicans certainly deserve even more condemnation. After finally convincing plenty of union members to switch up their allegiances, they’ve done nothing to maintain the confidence of union workers in the ensuing year.

Although fewer Americans belong to a union than they did a few decades ago, having union support still matters. That’s partially true because union money is contributed to campaigns, and also true because union members turn out to vote. During the last midterm election, 52 percent of union workers went to the polls, as opposed to just 39 percent of non-union members.

With the union gap once again widening in the Democrats’ favor, that’s the kind of support that could help them flip the House six months from now.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W2 months ago


Chrissie R
Chrissie R8 months ago

Thank you for posting your opinions....

pam w
pam w8 months ago

Good old Paul B....always thinking of others!

Paul B
Paul B8 months ago

John C. Recovered from what? The market is up about 6,000 points since Trump was elected. My stocks are doing just fine... what few I have.

Hannah K
Past Member 8 months ago


David F
David F8 months ago

The freedom (free market) hating, government dependency loving Democrat party has its tail between their legs. All of the claims from fake news that the Trump tax cut devastate the economy (like Queen Pelosi) has proven the reverse. Trump will go down as the greatest most productive president ever. A Democratic party disaster.
Federal Tax Revenues Hit Record Highs:

Debbie B
Past Member 8 months ago

hopefully trump stops supporting unions all together unions are bad news they were good in there days like back in the 50s and til the 80s they treat there workers like crap and they dont have good benefits

john c
john casablanca8 months ago

David F. - with all your REPUBLICAN, prejudicial hype praising FUHRER TRUMPF - one question - has your STOCK PORTFOLIO RECOVERED YET ??? Mine hasn't.
John C./Houston, Tx.

Winn A
Winn A8 months ago

He is a cancer on America.

Winn A
Winn A8 months ago

tRUMPie belongs in jail.