Union Households' Middling Support for Pro-Union Politics

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
June 6 2012 9:54 AM

Union Households' Middling Support for Pro-Union Politics

Last night on Twitter, labor journalist Mike Elk brought to my attention what I think is the single most telling result from last night's Wisconsin exit polls namely that 33 percent of Wisconsin voters said someone in their household is a union member and 38 percent of those voters pulled the lever for Scott Walker. Those unionists for Walker are only 12.5 percent of the electorate, but that's still pretty big compared to the overall margin. Certainly it's much more common in Wisconsin to see a member of a union household voting Republican than to see an African-American doing the same.

And the results seem fairly typical. Walker got 37 percent of the union vote in his original 2010 election and nationally 37 percent of people in union households voted for a GOP House candidate in 2010. Again, those aren't huge numbers. But they're not tiny numbers either. And the contrast with African-Americans is telling, as is the fact that Walker espousing an explicitly anti-union agenda in a high profile way didn't really move the dial.

Advertisement

Over the past five years I've read more and more progressive lamentations of the decline of organized labor in the United States, but typically in narratives that seem to deny agency to the union leaders themselves. But part of what you see in Wisconsin is labor leaders paying the price for inability to deliver their own members.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.