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Trump: Winning Over Union Leaders

By Richard F. Vitarelli and Adam C. Doerr
  • April 10, 2018

In a speech advertised as addressing the country’s infrastructure woes, and his $1.5-trillion plan for a fix, President Donald Trump reportedly told the crowd that he thought he was winning over union leaders.

Speaking in Richfield, Ohio, on March 29, 2018, Trump told the crowd that he “really think[s] the [union] leadership is actually getting it.” Washington, D.C.’s The Examiner quoted Trump as telling his crowd he “love[s] the smell of a construction site” and has “been in construction and building all of [his] life and [he] love[s] it.”

In his March 29 speech, Trump reportedly reminded the crowd of the support he received from rank-and-file union workers in the 2016 presidential election, and that:

We didn’t always get the union leadership of the big unions, but we got the workers …. The workers got it, and now I think the leadership is actually getting it. I really believe that. I think the leadership is getting it.

Trump won Ohio voters in the 2016 presidential election by more than eight percentage points over Hillary Clinton, and he has union households to thank.

While labor organizations donated heavily to Clinton’s campaign, and advocated for their memberships to support the Democrat, exit polls indicated that union households voted in favor of the Republican Trump by a margin of nine percentage points over the Democrat in 2016. That is a 32-percentage-point swing from 2012, when union households voted for former President Barack Obama by a 23-percent margin.

Approximately 12.5 percent of Ohio workers are members of a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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