HOW DID UNION MEMBERS VOTE?
Local 802 members came out in record numbers for this year’s presidential race. Over 100 musicians contributed to 802’s get-out-the-vote operation by reaching out to union members during our many phone banks and assisting in their effort on the days leading up to Election Day.
Local 802 worked in coordination with the AFL-CIO and was part of the national effort to mobilize millions of union members to support John Kerry.
On election night, the AFL-CIO surveyed 1,135 active and retired union members who voted, including 653 members in battleground states, plus an additional survey of 400 members in Ohio. Hart Research Associates conducted the survey. Here are some of the key findings:
- When union members in battleground states were asked if they received election information, 88 percent saw information on the election in their union publication; 66 percent received phone calls from their union; 45 percent received a workplace ad; 33 percent saw a union television ad; and 31 percent had direct workplace contact.
- Union members across the country were looking for a change: 62 percent disapproved of Bush’s job performance; 67 percent are dissatisfied with the economic situation in the country today; and 89 percent regarded this election as more important than previous national elections.
- Overall, 65 percent of union members voted for John Kerry; 33 percent for George Bush; and 2 percent for a third party candidate.
- In battleground states, 68 percent of union members voted for Kerry and 31 percent for Bush.
- In Ohio, union members voted for Kerry over Bush, 67 percent to 31 percent.
- When asked which factor was the most important in their presidential vote, 51 percent of union members cited positions on issues; 24 percent cited personal character or values; 13 percent said political party; and 12 percent said “either, all or not sure.”
- When asked what the top issues in their presidential vote were, the survey found that 42 percent said economy and jobs; 40 percent said war in Iraq; 24 percent said health care and prescription drugs; 24 percent said terrorism and homeland security; 18 percent said social security and retirement; 16 percent said moral values; 9 percent said taxes and 4 percent said guns.
- In comparing Kerry and Bush, 78 percent of union members believed that Kerry would have done a better job on unions and worker rights versus 13 percent for Bush; 65 percent believed that Kerry would have done a better job on the economy and jobs versus 27 percent for Bush; 64 percent believed Kerry would have done a better job on cracking down on corporate abuses versus 21 percent for Bush; and 63 percent believed that Kerry would have done better on health care costs versus 23 percent for Bush.
- In understanding a union members’ confidence in either Bush or Kerry, the survey found that 69 percent of union members believed that John Kerry would look out for working families a “great deal” or a “fair amount” versus 29 percent who thought Kerry would look out for working families “just some” or “very little.”
- When union members were asked about George Bush, only 32 percent believed that he would look out for working families a “great deal” or a “fair amount” versus 67 percent who thought Bush would look out for working families “just some” or “very little.”
- In reviewing Bush’s agenda, 77 percent of union members oppose his overtime for “80 hours/two weeks” plan; 64 percent oppose social security privatization; and 52 percent oppose more trade deals like NAFTA.
- In reviewing a “Working Families’” agenda, 91 percent of union members strongly or somewhat favor protection for the right to organize; 85 percent strongly or somewhat favor health care coverage for the uninsured; 84 percent strongly or somewhat favor raising the national minimum wage; 78 percent strongly or somewhat favor restoration of overtime pay; 76 percent strongly or somewhat favor closing tax loopholes for sending jobs overseas and 65 percent strongly or somewhat favor repealing Bush tax cuts.