Gallup Poll: Only Highest Earners Support Gutting Collective Bargaining

February 25, 2011 9:47 am

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) does have at least one demographic on his side in the battle to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public unions — the wealthy.

Earlier this week, Gallup released a poll showing that six in ten Americans said they oppose plans to roll back collective bargaining rights for public unions in their own states. As Greg Sargent noted today, only one income bracket within that poll — those making more than $90,000 per year — favors that idea.In fact, the more money people make, the more likely they are to support eliminating collective bargaining, according to the poll.

Among those who make less than $24,000 per year, 19% support cutting union rights, while 74% are opposed. Americans earning between $24,000 and $59,999 oppose that plan by a 33% to 63% split, while those earning between $60,000 and $89,999 also opposed the plan, 41% to 53%.

Among the top earners, however, 50% said they would support a plan to cut collective bargaining rights to reduce the deficit, while 47% said they oppose such a plan.

There have only been a smattering of polls on the question so far, but surveys so far have largely shown Americans supporting unions over Walker.

Sargent, while also cautioning against extrapolating too much from the limited poll sample, writes:

I think it’s fair to speculate that the focus of Walker’s proposal on rolling back long-accepted bargaining rights, and the massive amount of media attention to it, may have reframed the debate and refocused the public’s attention in a way that is undermining the right’s previous advantage on questions involving public employees.

The Gallup poll was conducted February 21 among 1,000 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 4.0%.

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