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Policy: Economy

Poll: Big business and big labor viewed more favorably

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Beltway Confidential,Business,Sean Higgins,Polls,Economy,Analysis

Public opinion of corporate America and organized labor have both rebounded sharply according to a poll out Thursday by the Pew Research Center. The poll, which has received scant attention, found that corporations were viewed positively by a 55-39 percent margin, reversing a 2011 poll that found them viewed negatively by a 52-38 percent margin.

Public opinion towards organized labor has similarly rebounded, with people now viewing them positively, 51-42 percent. The 2011 poll found that a plurality, 46-41 percent, had negative views. The study suggests that in the depths of the recession people who were struggling economically resented both groups, but that feeling has subsided as the economy has improved.

Other noteworthy findings in the poll include that 25 percent of union households have negative views of unions. The poll unfortunately does not have a separate finding for union members, which would be useful because the household figure would include non-union spouses. Interestingly, a slight majority of union households (51 percent) view corporations positively.

African-Americans are the racial group with the strongest pro-union leanings (69 percent). They are also strongly pro-business (62 percent). Hispanics are also both pro-union (58) percent and pro-business (52 percent). Whites lean negative towards unions (47-46 percent) but favor big business (54 percent).

Opinion of business was pretty uniform across genders, but while women lean firmly pro-union (55 percent), men support them by only a narrow margin (46 to 45 percent).

Both Democrats and Republicans are pro-corporations, though Republicans are much more likely to view them positively (69 percent) than Democrats (50 percent). The partisan gulf on unions is much wider with only 31 percent of Republicans viewing them positively compared with 70 percent of Democrats.

 

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner