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Senior Citizen Politics

Senior Citizens Least Likely Americans to Back Teachers, Public Workers in Wisconsin

Only 33% of older Americans back unions in battle with Wisconsin governor: most people in U.S. support the unions

March 2, 2011 - The teachers and other public employees fighting to save their unions in Wisconsin better not depend on the support of senior citizens to help them keep their collective bargaining rights. Older people are much, much more likely than younger people to side with the Republican governor than the workers, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Pew found most Americans more likely to side with the public employee unions – 42% back the workers, 31 back the governor, according to the survey conducted Feb. 27-27 among 1,009 adults.

The only group in the survey more likely to back the governor than senior citizens were Republicans.

Democrats, Young, Less Affluent Side Strongly With Unions


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The Pew analysis says, “Democrats overwhelmingly side with the government employee unions in the ongoing dispute in Wisconsin. Two- thirds (67%) say this, compared with just 12% who say they side more with the governor.

About half of Republicans (53%) say they side more with Gov. Walker; 17% say they side more with the public employee unions. Independents are evenly divided (39% side more with the unions, 34% more with the governor).

“Among those ages 18 to 29, nearly half (46%) say they side more with the public employee unions, while 13% say they side with the governor. Among those ages 65 and older, the balance is reversed -- but the gap more narrow (45% say they side more with the governor, 33% with the unions).

While whites are nearly evenly divided (38% unions, 36% governor), non-white people are much more likely to say they side more with the unions that represent public employee workers (51% vs. 19%).

“And while those with household incomes of $75,000 or more are divided (36% side more with the unions, 40% with the governor), those earning less clearly side more with the government employee unions.

Among those with family income of less than $30,000, 46% say they side more with the unions, while 20% say they side more with the governor.”

>> Read the complete report: Wisconsin Unions Favored…


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