Teachers’ Union President: Hillary Clinton Will Unite, Donald Trump Divides

Hillary and American Federation of Teachers

The president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union says that as a result of Hillary Clinton’s victories on Super Tuesday, she is the candidate who can unite the nation and “stand up against the fear and hateful rhetoric” of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

National Education Association (NEA) president Lily Eskelsen Garcia said Tuesday evening:

Tonight, it became clear that voters are looking for somebody who is prepared to take on the many difficult challenges our country is facing, a leader who will unite, rather than divide, Americans. Hillary Clinton is that leader. As she has done her entire adult life, she will work hard to break down the barriers facing so many in this country, and she will stand up against the fear and hateful rhetoric used by candidates like Donald Trump.

As she piles on victories, and with the pledged delegate count growing with each win, Hillary solidified her commanding lead tonight in the quest to become the Democratic nominee for president. As the campaign moves forward, educators across the country will continue to make their presence known because we know that Hillary will fight for every student to succeed, regardless of her or his ZIP code.

Eskelsen Garcia’s portrayal of Trump as a “divider” is consistent with the narrative of labor leaders in general who are hoping to keep their members in the Democrat “fold” and prevent leakage to the GOP.

“Anyone who talks about dividing people in the country as a solution is a threat to the country, to democracy, the economy, and to working people, and we take every one of those seriously,” said Richard L. Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

A new data-driven trend discovered by SameGrain – a social discovery app that privately connects people on over 45 million match points – finds that Clinton voters are over three times more likely to be teachers and over four times less likely to be in law enforcement than Trump’s voters.

According to a SameGrain press release:

Indeed, all Republican candidates have a relatively high percentage of voters in law enforcement, the military, and public safety, while the Democratic candidates enjoy higher support from those in non-profits, government, and entertainment professions. Trump has the highest support of any single profession (construction), but his support from educators and teachers ranks as the lowest support of a candidate from any single profession.

The New York Times noted in January that labor leaders are emphasizing to their union members that the Republicans’ economic agenda – including that of Trump – is not consistent with the interests of working people.”

Nevertheless, Trump is…different. The real estate developer has “enjoyed a cordial relationship with labor on many of his real estate projects,” says the Times.

“He has put his fair share into hiring union people,” said Richard Sabato, the president of a building and construction trades council in northern New Jersey. “He’s done that in Manhattan, in New Jersey.”

Sabato added that his members, who lean Republican but have still voted for President Obama, would “march behind” Trump, particularly on the issue of illegal immigration.

Similarly, many union members support Trump’s criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

Still, Clinton remains widely popular among union voters, though the appeal of Trump cannot be ignored.

Christopher M. Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America, which has endorsed Bernie Sanders, said that while polling of his members showed support for Trump was not near the support for Sanders and Clinton, it was higher than most GOP presidential candidates typically net.

Nevertheless, what happens in the primaries is not always what happens in the general election. Steve Rosenthal, former political director of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and liberal political organizer, told the Times that union voters almost always vote overwhelmingly Democrat in presidential elections.


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