Labor Unions and White Democratic Partisanship

  title={Labor Unions and White Democratic Partisanship},
  author={David Macdonald},
  journal={Political Behavior},
  • D. Macdonald
  • Published 25 June 2020
  • Political Science
  • Political Behavior
The Democratic Party’s declining support among white voters is a defining feature of contemporary American politics. Extant research has emphasized factors such as elite polarization and demographic change but has overlooked another important trend, the decades-long decline of labor union membership. This oversight is surprising, given organized labor’s long ties to the Democratic Party. I argue that the concurrent decline of union membership and white support for the Democratic Party is not… Expand
1 Citations


Polarization, Demographic Change, and White Flight from the Democratic Party
Whites have become less likely to support the Democratic Party. I show that this shift is being driven by two mechanisms. The first mechanism is the process of ideological sorting. The DemocraticExpand
Labor Unions and White Racial Politics
Scholars and political observers point to declining labor unions, on the one hand, and rising white identity politics, on the other, as profound changes in American politics. However, there has beenExpand
Labor Union Strength and the Equality of Political Representation
Amid growing evidence of ‘unequal democracy’ in the United States, labor unions can play a potentially important role by ensuring that low-income citizens’ opinions receive more equal considerationExpand
Labor Organization and Electoral Participation in Industrial Democracies
The literature on the determinants of electoral participation has paid little attention to the role of labor organization. Adopting the familiar heuristic of costs and benefits, we argue thatExpand
Issue Evolution Reconsidered: Racial Attitudes and Partisanship in the U.S. Electorate
Carmines and Stimson's theory of racial issue evolution has strongly influenced scholarly and popular interpretations of U.S. party politics. The central proposition of this theory is that racialExpand
The New White Flight?: The Effects of Political Appeals to Latinos on White Democrats
One explanation for the post-1965 shift in the vote choice of White Americans posits that it was driven by a shift in the racial imagery of the two major parties. The growing role of Latinos in theExpand
Intraparty Cleavages and Partisan Attitudes Toward Labor Policy
Although one in every four jobs in the U.S. is considered low-wage—encompassing millions of jobs held by Republicans and Democrats alike—little is known about partisans’ views on policies that governExpand
Union Membership and Political Participation in the United States
This article examines the effect of union membership on civic and political participation in the late 20th century in the United States. We discuss why and how unions seek to mobilize their membersExpand
Labor union membership and voting across nations
Despite a large literature on voter turnout around the world, our understanding of the role of labor union membership remains muddled. In this paper, we examine the relationship between unionExpand
Exploring the Bases of Partisanship in the American Electorate: Social Identity vs. Ideology
This article uses data from the 1952-2004 American National Election Studies and the 2004 U.S. National Exit Poll to compare the influence of ideology and membership in social groups on partyExpand