Poll: Working-class swing voters favor Obama

ORLANDO, Fla. – Millions of working-class swing voters, some with moderate, and even some with conservative views, may be poised to vote for President Barack Obama.

A new Working America poll discussed here March 14 at a meeting of the AFL-CIO executive council shows that 54 percent of the community-based AFL-CIO affiliate’s members polled are favoring the president for reelection.

The figures are important because the 3 million members of Working America are not in unions.

The survey, conducted in January, had a sample size of 2,076. Two hundred eighty of those were under age 35. Half were over 50 and half under 50. Eighty percent were white and 20 percent were people of color.

While 54 percent said they would vote for Obama, 31 percent said they would back Romney.

Very good news for Obama too is 43 percent said they back him “very strongly.” Only 18 percent said they “strongly” back Romney.

The poll seems to contradict claims that working-class voters who are white favor Republicans.

Working America Executive Director Karen Nussbaum said Republican “overreach” could be the reason for the poll’s numbers.

“These results show that Republican overreach in their attacks on unions and in their extremist positions overall could well be hurting them,” Nussbaum said.

A major finding of the poll was the strong populist sentiment among members. Sixty nine percent disapprove of Wall Street banks, 78 percent among self-described moderates, showing that disapproval of Wall Street is hardly limited to people on the political left.

Nussbaum summarized other findings in the poll, which will be published by Working America.

  • Almost 54 percent use social networking, and among those under 35 the figure rises to 78 percent.
  • Almost 35 percent named job creation as the top issue. Only 4.6 percent identify taxes as the number one issue.
  • Almost 50 percent say they are worried Congress will not do enough. Fifty-eight percent of those who identify as moderate are worried about congressional inaction on the economy.

Photo: Working America members were among the thousands of Ohioans who organized to defeat union-busting SB5 in 2011. (Working America)


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York. Along with being labor editor, Wojcik is a co-editor of peoplesworld.org.