Senator Clinton has enjoyed widespread support from voters living in union households since the beginning of the primary season in Iowa. In fact, even in states that were extremely close, such as Missouri, Clinton’s support amongst White voters living in union households far exceeded even her advantage with White voters in general. In the exceptionally close race in Missouri, 57% of White voters selected Clinton, while 69% of Whites living in union households did the same. In New Mexico, another close Super Tuesday primary state, the gap was even more notable, since Clinton actually trailed Obama with White voters overall (43% to 54%) but beat him with White union voters 52% to 44%.
We took a look at the White union vote from Iowa through to Wisconsin (including MO and NM as representative of Super Tuesday, as they were extremely close in the total vote). Clinton’s dominance with this voter group was initially split with Edwards, but Clinton took a clear lead in New Hampshire and did not relinquish it–until Wisconsin. Obama’s slight margin of victory with this subset of voters–his first– was perhaps the clearest signal that the Clinton campaign had suffered a serious setback in Wisconsin. After the primaries of March 4th, we’ll revisit this question to see if Wisconsin was an outlier, or the canary in the coal mine for Clinton’s core union support.