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Dem-Supporting Teamsters Union Makes Largest Donation to RNC In Years

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The influential Teamsters Union’s political action committee has long supported Democratic candidates, but the organization just indicated that it could switch and endorse former President Donald Trump this election cycle.

According to the Washington Post, which cited Federal Elections Commission records, the union made a $45,000 donation to the Republican National Committee’s convention fund in January, just days before Trump appeared at the union’s headquarters.

Trump had previously met in early January with Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien, the union posted on X, NBC News reported.

The union supported Joe Biden in the 2020 election and has not provided much in the way of funding to the Republican Party since it made a $15,000 donation to the RNC in 2004. The union has yet to publicly endorse any presidential candidate during the current cycle.

The Washington Post, which first reported the donation, added:

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The gift to the RNC, which is facing fundraising woes, magnifies tensions for unions that have benefited from Biden policies making it easier for workers to unionize and subsidizing projects to create union jobs, even as Trump remains popular among a lot of rank-and-file union members, especially in battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Following a meeting in late January at the Teamsters headquarters in D.C., Trump told reporters that he had a “good shot” at receiving the union’s endorsement. But Teamsters chief Sean O’Brien said during the same news conference that the Biden administration had “been great for unions,” adding that the Teamsters still had “some more questions that need to be asked to both candidates.”

The United Auto Workers union has officially backed Biden as well, though its president, Shawn Fain, all but admitted that “a great majority” of UAW members will be voting for Trump on Election Day.

After Fain fielded some questions about the slumping sales of electric vehicles and how that could affect the union labor force moving forward, Fox News host Neil Cavuto noted that in past decades, sizeable numbers of UAW members supported President Ronald Reagan and his successor, President George H. W. Bush, as well as other Republican presidents through the years.

Cavuto then went on to point out that many UAW members were supportive of Trump in 2016 and 2020 and remain supportive of him now before asking Fain how he felt about that.

“Look, it’s democracy in action,” the UAW boss began. “Let me be clear about this: A great majority of our members will not vote for President Biden. Yeah, some will, but that’s the reality of this. The majority of our members are gonna vote their paychecks. They’re gonna vote for an economy that works for them.”

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While Fain did not say that the “great majority” would be voting for Trump, that was the impression he gave since Cavuto had just mentioned past UAW rank-and-file support for previous Republican presidents.

Over the past few decades, political scientists and other experts have noted a shift in voting demographics between Democrats and Republicans, with the latter gaining much more support from the American working class, which had, for the better part of the 20th century, gone overwhelmingly for Democrats.

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“The same pattern of Republican domination of the working-class vote appears to be developing as we move toward 2024,” notes the Liberal Patriot.

“The latest poll for which an overall college/noncollege split is available is the March Harvard/Harris poll. That poll, in which Trump has a small lead over Biden in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, has Trump carrying the working-class vote by 10 points.”

“In a DeSantis-Biden matchup, DeSantis has a similar lead over Biden and an identical 10-point advantage among working-class voters. (There is a slightly more recent Quinnipiac poll that also includes these 2024 matchups, but the public materials only provide a white college/noncollege split). Earlier polls from this year—where data are available—replicate this pattern of Trump and DeSantis leading Biden among working-class voters,” the site noted further.

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