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Most Voters Don’t Think Non-Union Members Should Pay Dues

Monday, February 26, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that could have huge ramifications for unions. Voters continue to believe labor unions have too much political sway and most don’t think non-union members should have to pay dues, which is the main argument in the Janus v. AFSCME case.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters believe labor unions have too much political influence, while 25% think they don’t have enough influence. Eighteen percent (18%) feel labor unions have basically no impact on politics in this country, and another 16% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of voters who feel labor unions have too much political influence is up slightly from 35% in August, but is down from 50% in 2016 and in 2015.

At issue in the case before the Supreme Court is whether unions representing public employees can collect fees from workers who choose not to join the union. Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters say if non-union members get hired by a unionized company, they should be required by law to pay union dues. Fifty-five percent (55%) disagree, while 12% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on February 21-22, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

A separate survey conducted in August found that just 32% of voters think most organized labor leaders do a good job representing union members. Slightly more (38%) say labor leaders are out of touch with most of their members. Another 31% are not sure how union leaders are doing.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Republicans think labor unions have too much political influence, but just 25% of Democrats believe that to be true. Thirty-six percent (36%) of Democrats feel labor unions don’t have enough political influence, a view shared by just 18% of GOP voters. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, 45% say unions have too much influence, while 19% don’t think they have enough influence.

Most Republicans (66%) and unaffiliated voters (59%) don’t think non-union members should be required by law to pay dues if they get hired by a unionized company. Democrats are evenly divided.

Men and older voters are more likely than women and those who are younger to believe labor unions have too much political influence.

Half (51%) of entrepreneurs think labor unions have too much political influence, but only 36% of government workers and 40% of private company employees share that view.

Union members (32%) are more likely than non-union members (21%) to say that labor unions don’t carry enough political power. They’re also more likely to say that non-union workers should be required to pay dues if hired by a unionized company.

Among voters who feel unions have too much political influence, 78% don’t think non-union members should be required to pay dues. Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters who say unions don’t have enough political influence think non-union members should be required by law to pay dues.

Nearly half (49%) of all Americans say teachers’ unions are more interested in protecting members’ jobs than in the quality of education.

In 2013, 44% of Adults had at least a somewhat favorable impression of labor unions, while 45% viewed them unfavorably.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters think the Supreme Court is too conservative in political terms. Twenty-five percent (25%) think the court is too liberal, while another 25% say it is about right, politically speaking.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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