David Kemper and his wife are union members and lifelong Democrats. But the Kempers and their 20-year-old son, Nicholas, are planning to vote for Donald Trump in November.
“Growing up we were very strong Democrats, but the Democrat party left us,” David Kemper said, standing at the back of a Ted Cruz barbecue near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week. He had traveled from Minnesota to the RNC to be with Nicholas, who was an alternate Texas delegate for Trump.
When the Kempers vote for Trump, they’ll be breaking with the leadership of their national unions, which have both endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. “I’m in the CWA, my wife is American Federation of Teachers, but we felt like the unions have left us, too,” said David Kemper.
The split between labor leaders and union members lies at the center of Trump’s potential path to the White House, which includes winning over a swath of Rust Belt states from Pennsylvania to Ohio, thanks to his cross-party appeal among traditionally Democratic union workers.