Michigan Democrat admits ‘there are clearly still strong Trump voters’ in unions

'Last year by this time I said we have a problem' with union enthusiasm, says Dingell, adding that voters are now coming up to her in public and saying, 'I'll never vote for Donald Trump again'

Updated: August 15, 2020 - 12:22am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell said that “there are clearly still strong Trump voters” in unions but there are many union workers in Michigan who are not happy with the direction of the country.

Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a narrow margin of about 10,000 votes.

Dingell was asked how she thinks Trump’s support among union workers compares to the 2016 election cycle.

“There are clearly still strong Trump voters,” Dingell said during a press call organized by the Biden campaign on Thursday.

Dingell said she has heard from many union voters at various events who are undecided.

“I think that many, many union voters, men and women, don't like the way COVID has been handled, and the uncertainty that has come into their life. They're scared even in the plant. Some of them have lost their jobs,” she said.

“You’ve got people with pre-existing conditions and you know, they get very insulted when people say, ‘well, you're not working because you had a $600 supplemental payment’ and they are women that have childcare issues. So there's a lack of even empathy for what the real issues are for workers,” she added.

Dingell recalled that “last year by this time I said we have a problem” with union enthusiasm in the Democratic Party. However, Dingell said voters in her district have come up to her in public and said, “I'll never vote for Donald Trump again.”

“I think there are far more people, in talking to the union leaders, they're hearing the same thing that, you know, there's probably a third that's still going to be the way they were,” she said.

“There’s a third that voted for Hillary [Clinton] last time that are there and I think there's a whole group in the middle that are very thoughtful and are not happy with the direction that this country's going.”

Dingell said presumptive presidential Democratic nominee Joe Biden has been a longtime friend to unions, citing his support for the auto industry bailout in 2008.

“Unless you come from where Joe Biden came from, remember GM had a plant in Delaware, he’s like me. Nothing makes him happier than being in a union hall and being with the men and women in there,” she said. “In 2008, he really understood that fear and anxiety.”

According to reports in 2014, the federal government ultimately lost $11 billion on the auto bailout.