The Changing Face of Unions and White Labor Support for the Democratic Party

Source: John F. Camobreco, Michelle A. Barnello,The Forum, Volume 13, Issue 2, August 2015
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From the abstract:
This manuscript examines the political behavior of White union members, with a focus on the differences between private sector and public sector union members. In the last several decades, private sector union membership has drastically declined, but public sector union membership has greatly increased. This has transformed the White unionized workforce from a group composed primarily of non-professional men with no college education to one that is much more female, college educated, and professional. We test the proposition that White public sector union members have greater incentives to support the Democratic Party than their private sector counterparts. The method employed is an examination of the presidential vote among both unionized and non-unionized Whites during the 1950s and the 2000s, using data from the American National Election Studies. Support among unionized Whites for Democratic presidential candidates in the 2000s came primarily from college educated and professional White union members, which represents a reversal of the pattern found during the 1950s. These results provide evidence that the White union members currently voting for Democratic candidates belong mainly to public sector unions.