The teacher union vote.

USA Today ed writer Greg Toppo posted a tweet about the teacher unions “smarting” from the membership vote for Clinton and Trump.

It is estimated 1 in 5 AFT members voted for Trump. They estimate 1 in 3 NEA members voted for Trump.

I tweeted back.

Toppo then admitted that teacher union members outperformed other union members in voting against Trump.

But that fact was buried deep in his USA Today story since it didn’t fit into the workers voted for Trump narrative.

The truth is that teachers across the nation who are members of the two national unions are slightly more progressive than the general voting population. And teachers who are active in the union fall slightly to the left of center within the Democratic Party. That’s why it was fairly easy to get delegates to the NEA convention to endorse Hillary but also why Bernie had a strong base in both of the unions.

In spite of that, NEA leaders felt worried enough about a Clinton endorsement to manipulate the process, as Wikileaks memos between Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and NEA leaders demonstrated. The Clinton campaign, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and AFT President Randi Weingarten totally coordinated their efforts to ensure the Clinton endorsement, even though delelgates to the earlier Representative Assembly were promised no early endorsement would be made.

IEA membership, which is mainly downstate and suburban Chicago, runs less progressive then the organization as a whole. The leadership believes about a third of the IEA membership votes Republican.

Perhaps this explains their endorsement of Governor Bruce Rauner’s GOP Senate Leader Christine Radogno.

Still, the IEA’s political power is weak. They couldn’t get Governor Quinn elected after his betrayal of union members on pensions. They backed Hillary against Sanders in the Illinois primary and she barely won, dropping 20% points in three weeks, even with a major IEA effort and expense.

The real story is the historic failure of the IEA to lead. They haven’t won a major political battle in the state since we won collective bargaining rights over three decades ago. That is so even with over 130,000 members and one of the top funded political action committees in the state.

With eighteen months before the next gubernatorial election and the chance to oust Bruce Rauner, I’m not expecting much of those folks. It will have to come from somewhere else.


6 Replies to “The teacher union vote.”

  1. A Springfield blog keeps thinking it was AFSCME th at helped vote in Rauner because they think that is who the union vote is …its that bubble think . When I look at the exit polls from that election I see it was pissed off retired teachers. I need to look at the MI OH and PA exit polls to see union voting patterns. It may be more generational we have lost the last of the greatest generation of voters and replaced them with the worst.

    1. More then one factor was involved. Speaking of voting patterns, some very strange patterns emerged from WIS, MI, and PA. The counties with computerized voting all had a 7% increase in votes for Trump over counties that used the paper/optical scanner. That alone would be enough to throw the election.
      Next, FBI Director Comey implied new evidence was found just in time for early voting, and then says “never mind” after 12 million votes were cast. This was an obvious attempt to throw the election, and likely succeeded when combined with the other possible frauds.
      Then there were reports of widespread texts telling likely HRC voters they didn’t need to go to the polls, they could vote by text. No one knows how many thousands were fooled, but it targeted Latina and African-American women, many of whom would have had to take time off of work to go vote.
      Then there were a couple 3rd party candidates who likely took enough votes away from HRC which may have helped Trump. Apparently Jill Stein is having second thoughts and is concerned enough to call for recounts and is raising money to pay the costs. I hope her effort is successful, although Clinton and Obama seem reluctant to demand a recount. Obama seems to think Trump will win anyway and it will tear the country apart even more.
      In so far as Rauner, the Unions were sandbagged. They originally backed Rutherford but sudden allegations (later found to be false by the court) from former employees sank his campaign. Some billionaire might have paid the former employees somehow in money, offers of future job, or some other untraceable compensation. When it became apparent Rutherford was going to lose, the unions switched their support to Dillard in an effort to stop Rauner in the primary. Rutherford was in denial, and refused to drop out and back Dillard (Rutherford ended up causing Rauner to win). Votes cast for Dillard and Rutherford far exceeded votes for Rauner, who won with 40% beating Dillard by 2%. The unions were too little too late. Polls showed Rauner ahead by 13 points before the unions threw their support behind Dillard, Rauner’s 13% lead dropped to 2% after the unions endorsed Dillard. Just a bit more support in the primary would have saved huge amounts of union money spent trying to stop Rauner in the general election. I finally got a call from the IEA 2 hours before the polls closed on primary election day urging me to vote for Dillard in order to stop Rauner. I had already done that, but how many people were unable to drop everything to go vote on such short notice? Too late, and now we have Rauner.
      Trump as president, Rauner as governor! We are screwed! (With the exception of the 1%ers.)

  2. I just went over the state exit polls and even though the data was not complete there was a strong consistency. Trump got 30 to 40 percent of union members and a huge percentage that felt trade hurts . it is clear to me that he got angry manufacturing union members that felt jusifieably I might add like The retiree teachers did and threw a Molotov cocktail at the country. The democrats soul searching can be real quick here . no need to change anything except 32nd the pandering to offshoring multinationals.In other words stop screwing your base and you will win.

  3. The national exit poll looks to be off a point. Michigan was exact a tie. I am glad we will have a recount. Trump is serious about leaning on multinationals. He is keeping United Technologies chair working on Thanksgiving.Looks like Carrier stays. Bernie threatened their contracts. Wonder what Donald threatened them with.. Must admit I enjoy this. Their workforce is unionized African American.

  4. Not to mention that–rather than get a strong candidate to primary Quinn (he, having stabbed the unions in the back)–the IEA leadership waited, & gave FOUR MILLION DOLLARS to Kirk Dillard in a last-ditch attempt to help him win the Republican primary against Rauner. You know–Kirk Dillard, ILL-Annoy ALEC Chairperson. And ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council–if you don’t know anything about it {& I have been surprised at the # of those–esp. union members–who don’t–you’d better look it up & FIND out–the group has only been negatively affecting our lives & livelihoods for over 40 years) has thrived in doing no good to American working people.

  5. I really do want a recount and agree with all the additional..Quinn comments. After stuffing myself with the non meat food with the family…..I go look at more data during the James Bond marathon….how about 2014 tax data. Our very rich Rauner released his tax returns. Almost all his income was schedule d capital gains and he calls himself an Executive. A recent study looked at self described professions and erroneusly thought such descriptions as executive meant they didn’t make their money on wall street…wrong. Amoung taxpayers making less than a quarter million the bottom 98 percent almost all income is from wages and pensions and social security. Like 90 percent. Those below that with small business earn middle class or even working class incomes from those business most well under 100k…..and very little money comes from investments….maybe you know where I am heading…rambling on like Racheal Maddow… we look at that too 2 percent. 4 million….1 million average 300k from their business interests. They take in almost all the capital gains income. They have nothing in common with our economy. They are a giant squid sucking the life out of well erverything. Will Donald Trump rain a little on their parade or bury the rest of us.

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