In theory, Donald Trump is the least likely of the five candidates still in the race for the White House to draw support from the average working American.

The billionaire builder of skyscrapers, casinos and international golf courses, with a private jet, reality television show, a glamorous wife and two glamorous ex-wives has crowned Miss Universe winners, participated in WrestleMania, and rubbed shoulders with presidents and celebrities for years, and would seemingly have little in common with blue-collar union workers struggling with stagnant wages, outsourcing, and the loss of jobs to technology.

But recent focus groups put together in Pittsburgh and Cleveland by Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO labor federation, in the run-up to primaries in Pennsylvania and Ohio has found that Trump’s “tell-it-like-it-is” manner and politically incorrect manner is resonating with union members in that economically distressed area and throughout the United States.

“We hear the same refrains all the time,” said Karen Nussbaum, executive director of Working America, which has high membership in the Rust Belt. “That people are fed up and they’re hurting. That their families have not recovered from the recession. That every family is harboring someone still not back at work. That someone is paying rent for their brother-in-law. And then a guy comes on the stage, and says, “I’m your guy who will blow the whole thing up.””

In fact, Trump, may be exactly the right man at the right time to break up the traditional alliance of union members and the Democrat party as his stances against trade deals, outsourcing and cheap labor provided by immigrants hit home for those who feel the Obama economy has left them behind.

Josh Goldstein, deputy national media director for the AFL-CIO, said of Trump, “His message is really resonating, particularly if you are talking [about] union people. He is speaking our language.”

 

 

 

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