Joe Biden Increased Share of Michigan Union Vote, Beat Trump By 15 Points: Exit Poll

Democratic nominee Joe Biden increased his vote share among labor union households in Michigan as he narrowly recaptured the swing state from President Donald Trump after votes were counted on Wednesday, exit poll data shows.

The preliminary estimates from exit polls conducted by Edison Research, and published by The New York Times, showed Biden had won a projected 56 percent of the union vote in Michigan as of early Thursday morning.

When similar exit polls were conducted in the state after the 2016 presidential election, pollsters found that 53 percent of voters in union households had backed Hillary Clinton, meaning Biden appears to have built on his predecessor's standing among organized labor in the state.

President Trump similarly increased his vote share among the group, but only by a single percentage point. Forty-one percent of union household voters said they backed the commander-in-chief at the polls on Tuesday, an increase on the 40 percent who said the same four years ago.

Joe Biden in Flint, Michigan
Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in campaign rally at Northwestern High School on October 31, in Flint, Michigan. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

According to the preliminary data, a little less than a quarter of Michigan exit poll respondents (22 percent) said they lived in a household with a labor union member. Seventy-eight percent said they did not.

Trump fared better among households without members of a labor union. A slim majority (52 percent) of non-union household voters backed the president, while 46 percent said they opted for Biden, according to the exit poll.

Back in 2016, the split between Trump and Clinton among the demographic was much closer. Forty-eight percent of non-union voters backed then-candidate Trump while 47 percent backed the former secretary of state and Democratic nominee.

Edison Research's preliminary exit poll data from Michigan is based on interviews with more than 2,700 voters. The numbers could still be updated as further results and data arrive.

Former Vice President Biden was declared the winner in Michigan on Wednesday evening as he led President Trump by more than 2 percentage points with more than 98 percent of the estimated vote tallied. A little more than 134,000 votes separated the Democratic challenger and the Republican incumbent in the state Trump won by a narrow 0.3-point margin four years ago.

As Biden looked on track to take hold of the state and its crucial 16 electoral college votes, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to stop the count, arguing that it had been denied "meaningful access" to observe counting stations.

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. "We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access."

At the time of writing, Biden has a projected 253 electoral college votes toward the 270 needed to secure the White House. President Trump's tally stands at 214 with six state votes still to be counted.