Report: Biden's Struggles With Union Advocates May Hinder Dems in Midterms
President Joe Biden
By Jay Clemons | Sunday, 04 September 2022 03:56 PM EDT
President Joe Biden won't be on the ballot during the upcoming November elections, but his policies and actions over the last 19 months might sway midterm results — particularly in battleground states.
As such, Bloomberg News asserts that Biden's appeal among American union workers has recently come under scrutiny.
"There's a lot of righteous anger on the part of Democratic voters, in particular union voters who tend to vote Democrat," Celine McNicholas, director of policy and government affairs at Washington think tank EPI, told Bloomberg.
In the Detroit, Michigan, suburb of Macomb County, Alyssa Coakley, a 25-year-old Starbucks Corp. employee, who reportedly led a successful effort to unionize her café, said Biden's penchant for helping unions is more show than substance.
Coakley said, "When it comes to labor, it's been a little bit performative. Like, what more are you doing for us?"
Macomb County, as Bloomberg reported, is part of a newly redrawn congressional district that's likely to flip to Republicans, potentially helping the GOP take overall control of the House.
For the midterms, Republicans need a net positive of five seats to claim the majority in the House chamber, and just a net of one seat to control the Senate.
There's historical precedent with the Republicans faring well in this area of Michigan.
During the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan held solid appeal with union voters who had primarily voted Democrat since the days of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal.
According to Bloomberg, Macomb County "became a symbol of that shift" when a pollster's analysis found that Reagan secured about two-thirds of the local vote in 1984 — almost a mirror image of Democrat John Kennedy's 1960 win.
From these findings, pollster Stan Greenberg concluded that Democrats no longer saw the party as representing the working class.
Former President Donald Trump has evoked comparisons to Reagan, in terms of political platform and willingly appealing to a broader base of conservative voters.
After former President Barack Obama won Macomb County twice (2008, 2012), Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the county by 12 percentage points — a differential that helped Trump win Michigan and eventually collect more than 300 electoral votes.
Biden performed better in Macomb than Clinton in the 2020 presidential election, but still lost the county to Trump.
Unions had a firm hold on Michigan voters during the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. But since then, it has transformed into a right-to-work state, seemingly making it tougher for unions to operate from a position of power.
For example, as Bloomberg reported, Lume Cannabis executives allegedly told workers their vacation days and tips were on the table if they unionized; and that played a significant role in marginalizing the pursuit of worker unionization.
Lume denied that news report, characterizing the allegations as "completely false and without merit."
"At Lume we value our employees and recognize our team members are a critical aspect to our success," Lume President Doug Hellyar said in an emailed statement.