Union Voters’ Shift To GOP Alarms Democrats Ahead Of 2024 Election

The Democratic Party is facing a significant challenge as union voters, once a dependable voting bloc, are increasingly turning towards the GOP. This shift threatens President Joe Biden’s prospects for reelection in 2024. Despite being hailed as the “most pro-union President,” recent polls show Biden’s support among union voters has dramatically decreased.

Democratic lawmakers are sounding the alarm, recognizing that their efforts to woo union voters have not translated into sustained electoral support. “We need to be concerned,” Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan told Axios, highlighting the need for proactive engagement. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota echoed this sentiment, stressing the importance of connecting with rank-and-file labor members rather than relying solely on union leadership.

Polling data underscores the gravity of the situation. In 2020, Biden secured the union vote with a 16-point lead over Trump, according to NBC’s exit polling. However, by February 2024, this lead had shrunk to nine points, as indicated by an NBC poll. A Quinnipiac poll from March showed similar trends in Michigan, where Biden’s lead among union voters also dropped to nine points.

The shift in union support is further evidenced by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ recent $45,000 donation to the Republican National Committee (RNC), their first significant GOP contribution since 2004. This move followed a meeting between former President Donald Trump and the union’s executive board in January, suggesting an increasing openness to Republican overtures.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, vice chair of the congressional Labor Caucus, acknowledged the growing skepticism among union workers. “This has been accelerating over the years,” she told Axios. “You’d be skeptical as a worker too. You’d want to listen [to Republicans].”

Steve Smith, deputy director of the AFL-CIO, emphasized the need for Democrats to actively court union voters, warning, “Nobody can take union members for granted.” As the 2024 election nears, the Democratic Party must address this critical shift to retain the support of a key voting demographic.

In the face of these challenges, the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party are tasked with reinvigorating their relationship with union voters to secure a favorable outcome in the upcoming election.