A new Gallup poll show that union approval is at 52 percent, which is unchanged from last year just above the all-time low of 48 percent approval in 2009. Over at the New York Times, labor reporter Steven Greenhouse observes that the big union battles in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country don't apear have lead to more polarization on the issue even if the overall approval rating is largely unchanged:
The Gallup poll found a strong rebound of Democrats’ and independents’ views toward unions over the last two years. Approval among Democrats rose to 78 percent from 66 percent in 2009, and to 52 percent from 44 percent among independents. For Republicans, the approval rating was 26 percent this year, down from 34 percent last year (and 29 percent in 2009).
While the polarization may make for some ugly political campaigns, the bottom line is that Gallup seems to confirm that any political risk attached to going after unions looks like a pretty good gamble.