Organized-labor In The Electorate, 1960-1988
Political Research Quarterly
Politics and Government
This paper examines the union effect on vote choice and turnout in presidential elections from 1960 to 1988. It shows that union household status had a significant effect on vote choice in the last four presidential elections, including the widely reported debacle of 1984. Declining membership and other political-economic factors may explain organized labor's apparent political weakness, but these explanations have very different implications for our thinking about labor politics than the argument that leaders have diminishing impact on members' voting decisions. Surprisingly, union status does not have a significant impact on turnout; Verba, Nie, and Kim's ''group-based political mobilization'' hypothesis does not hold up well in the American context.
Sousa, David J.. 1993. "Organized-Labor in the Electorate, 1960-1988." Political Research Quarterly 46(4): 741-758.