Pew Poll: Only Wealthiest Income Bracket Sides With Gov. Walker Over Unions

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In the debate over whether Wisconsin state workers should have the right to collectively bargain for better benefits, there is at least one group that sides with Gov. Scott Walker — people wealthy enough that they probably don’t need collective bargaining rights themselves.

That finding comes from a Pew poll released this week showing more Americans siding with the unions over Gov. Walker in the budget showdown that has deadlocked the Wisconsin legislature and sent thousands of protesters streaming into the state capitol. And strikingly, while Americans overall took the unions’ side in the poll, the highest income demographic was the only one in which more people said they stood with Walker over the unions.Overall, 42% of respondents said they side more with the unions, while 31% took Walker’s position. Among those with annual household incomes under $30,000, that split was considerably larger, with 46% supporting the unions, and only 20% supporting Walker. People earning $30,000 to $74,999 per year also backed the unions, 49% to 31%.

Yet among those earning over $75,000 per year, 36% said they backed the unions, while slightly more, 40%, said they stood behind Walker.

Last week, a Gallup poll found the same result, with all income groups except the top bracket opposing the idea of collective bargaining rights.

The Pew survey was conducted February 24-27 among 1,009 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 4.0%.

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