The Labor Vote
Posted on March 3, 2017
In any close election, there are a large number of factors each of which, when taken all alone, is enough to cost the election. E.g.Clinton carried the labor union vote by 19 points, down from Obama’s 31 points. That by itself cost Clinton the election. (So did Jill. So did the deplorables remark. So did the FBI. So did voter suppression. Most likely someone’s email thefts did so as well.)
Flipping 12% of the labor vote would have an immense effect. It is the same as finding 24% in new voters (12% lost by Trump plus 12% gained by Hillary). I don’t know the labor share of all voters, but including family members it must be at least 8%. So flipping that 12% of labor would amount to at least a 2 percentage point increase in Hillary’s overall margin (doubling it). That is also twice as much as Jill’s vote total.
Clinton did not make a unions a big priority. It’s been a long time since any President said that building unions back up was important. I think that is the most strategically important reason for the declining fortunes of US progressivism. (Racism looms larger in overall effect, but progressives can’t afford to kowtow to racists.) When Democrats shifted from relying on labor legwork to relying on dollars from rich businessmen, the progressive goose was cooked.
Thanks should especially go to Bill Clinton for that.
Meanwhile, progressives need to make supporting labor unions a much higher priority.