If there was ever a sign that the party of Ronald Reagan is now the party of Donald Trump, it comes from DailyMail.com’s latest poll on Republican attitudes.
On the day Trump visited Michigan to appeal to voters affected by the United Automobile Workers strike, viewers of the second Republican debate overwhelmingly said candidates should support the unions and not the automakers.
About 48 percent of respondents sided with unions, while only 31 percent said candidates should support automakers in the dispute.
The issue has divided the field of candidates, with biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy saying he had no patience for union bosses and Senator Tim Scott calling out Reagan and the way he fired striking air traffic controllers.
But the results of the JL Partners poll, which asked 546 Republican debate viewers for their opinions, suggest the party has abandoned Reaganite views on unions.
About 48 percent of Republican viewers of Wednesday’s debate said candidates should side with union members rather than automakers, the DailyMail.com poll found.
“The UAW strike has won support from the public, Democrats, Independents, a sitting president and now Republican voters,” said James Johnson of JL Partners.
“It’s not a dramatic margin — and support could be specific to this one strike — but “it’s clear that Donald Trump’s politics are more aligned with the Republican base than Tim Scott’s politics.”
The UAW is on strike against the three major automakers: Ford, GM and Stellantis.
The company plans to step up industrial action on Friday, already involving 18,000 workers, as it pushes for 40 percent pay rises over a four-year contract. The plan includes a four-day work week.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the dispute offered a preview of how Joe Biden and Trump will approach the election.
Biden joined striking workers on the picket line in Michigan to make a direct appeal to workers.
“The middle class built this country,” Biden said. “And unions built the middle class. That’s a fact.’
Trump has a more complicated relationship with unions. He initially avoided union crowds when he struck out on his own in the construction industry, before later going out of his way to appease union leaders to prevent the disruption of strikes.
He visited a day after Biden and used his trip (to a non-union factory) to address workers and warn them that the transition to electric vehicles meant jobs would be lost to China.
“It doesn’t matter what you get because in two years you’ll all be bankrupt,” he said.
Seven Republican candidates competed Wednesday evening in the absence of the clear frontrunner at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library in California.
Trump spoke at a campaign rally at Drake Enterprises, an auto parts manufacturer, in Clinton Township, Michigan, instead of attending the debate
Biden on Tuesday became the first president ever to join a picket line when he participated in a 12-minute workers’ strike, donning a “UAW” hat for the United Auto Workers union
The issue created a dilemma for some of the seven candidates who took the stage Wednesday evening, aware that taking a traditional conservative stance on unions risked alienating Trump supporters who favor a more populist tack. alienate.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who takes a conventional conservative stance on taxes and spending, tried to bring the issue back to Biden and the cost of living.
“Biden showed up on that picket line,” she said. ‘But why are those workers there anyway? It is because of all the spending he is pushing through the economy that inflation has risen.”
The setting, in Ronald Reagan’s presidential library in California, could not have been more symbolic.
In 1981, the then president fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers who were on strike. As federal workers, he had the power to terminate their employment.
JL Partners surveyed 546 Republican viewers in the hour after the debate ended. The results have a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points
Former President Donald Trump was the winner of the evening, according to our DailyMail.com poll, even though he did not attend the debate. Ron DeSantis was named the most ‘competent’
But even that was also part of a political evolution. In the 1960s he headed the powerful Screen Actors Guild, which along with the writers’ union halted film production in a dispute over “residuals”: long-term payments for reruns or other subsequent broadcasts.
The poll also found that viewers thought Trump made the right decision by staying away from the debate and appearing in Michigan.
Nearly two-thirds said he made the right decision; 29 percent said he should have attended.
Viewers also said Trump was the real winner of the night. About 27 percent of viewers rated him the night’s winner, beating tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy by one point and DeSantis by 10 points.