Republican officials around the country have made it clear in recent months that they want to trim costs associated with public employee unions. The rank-and-file also have a negative view of view of unions, according to a new Gallup poll
Unions earn only a 26 percent approval rating among Republicans in the population as a whole, the poll found.
Democrats, meanwhile, give unions a 78 percent approval rating. The 52-point gap represents a huge jump from 37 points last year.
Among Americans as a whole, 52 percent approve of unions, unchanged from last year and at the lower end of what Gallup has measured since 1936. The approval rating always has been higher than the disapproval rating, with the approval rating hitting a record low of 48 percent in 2009 and record high of 75 percent twice in the 1950s.
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