by WorldTribune Staff, November 27, 2016
Teachers unions, who dumped $108.2 million into the 2016 political cycle (nearly all of which went to Democrats) are still trying to figure out how so many of their members joined the Trump revolution on Nov. 8.
More than one in three of the National Education Association’s (NEA’s) members voted for Trump. The NEA has more than 3 million members.
About one in five members of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) cast their ballots for Trump. The ATF represents about 1.6 million teachers and other workers.
Most of the USA’s largest labor unions endorsed Clinton as early as 2015, including NEA, AFT, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Despite all of the contributions and endorsements, Clinton won union households nationwide by just eight percentage points, exit polls show: 51 percent to Trump’s 43 percent.
Trump garnered more union support than any Republican since Ronald Reagan carved out a group of Democrats thereafter known as the “Reagan Democrat.”
Some union activists are going so far as to predict “an extinction level event” for unions as Republicans take control of both houses of Congress, the White House, and maybe even the Supreme Court if Trump follows through on campaign promises to appoint conservative-leaning justices.
“We underestimated the amount of anger and frustration among working people and especially white workers, both male and female, about their economic status,” said Lee Saunders, president of the AFL-CIO’s political committee.
AFT President Randi Weingarten attributed at least some of the reason for Clinton’s defeat to sexism.
“Frankly I was always concerned about whether the country was ready to have a female president,” she said. “There was an intensity of hatred that male political figures never get. So I think we’re never really going to understand it.”