Dems worry union voters may swing Republican in 2024 election

The concerns come despite President Biden repeatedly characterizing himself as the “most pro-union president in history."


Democrat officials in key battleground states have exprssed concern that union voters, who have traditionally supported the Democrat Party, may shift their preferences and vote for Republicans in the upcoming November election.

The Teamsters, one of the largest unions in the country, recently made headlines when their president Sean O’Brien met with former President Donald Trump. Additionally, the union made its first significant donation to the Republican party since 2004. O’Brien has also requested speaking spots at both party conventions, signaling a potential shift in union allegiances.

Despite Biden's efforts to appeal to unions, calling himself the “most pro-union president in history” and declaring that “unions built this country,” Democrat officials are worried that Biden might face challenges securing union votes in this election.

"We need to be concerned," said Democrat Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan. "We can't just assume people are going to figure it out for themselves. We've got to tell the story," he emphasized, asserting that Democrats are the more pro-union party.

Auto worker unions, particularly in Michigan, have shown reluctance to fully support President Biden, largely due to his policies surrounding electric vehicles. The United Auto Workers (UAW) delayed endorsing Biden until January, reflecting their hesitancy.

An NBC poll from February indicated that Biden holds a 9 percent lead over Trump in union households, a significant decline from his 16 percent lead in the 2020 election.

Steve Smith, deputy director of the AFL-CIO, which endorsed Biden a year ago, commented to Axios that he believes Republicans are using “faux populism” to “peel off working-class voters.” However, he also stressed that "Nobody can take union members for granted."

“There's nothing magical about union members that they're going to vote Democrat. It all comes down to the communication,” Smith added.

The shifting dynamics among union voters could play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the election, as states with a high number of union affiliations such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota will be pivotal for both parties in November.

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