Conservative Interest Group Impact on Union Voters: The Link between Social and Economic Issues

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Over the last twenty years conservative, political organizations, both old and new, have emerged as important players on the national political scene. Many of these groups have influenced the voting decisions of union members. In a significant number of recent elections the union members they have attracted have accounted for the margin of victory for the conservative interest group's candidate and the margin of defeat for the labor-backed candidate. Conservative social issue interest groups like the National Rifle Association, the Christian Coalition, and the Family Research Council have been particularly successful at gaining the support of union members. While many of these social issue groups claim that they do not take positions on overtly economic issues, the candidates they support clearly do. Most often the conservative positions these candidates take on economic issues are in direct contrast with the economic interests of union members. This study provides evidence of the link between these social and economic interest groups and suggests ways that unions and labor educators can address the influence of these groups on union voters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-61
Number of pages15
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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