Labor leaders have worked for months to sell their members on Biden, hoping to avoid a repeat of 2016 when Donald Trump outperformed among union members and won the White House. But despite a bevy of national union endorsements for Biden and years of what leaders call attacks on organized labor from the Trump administration, local officials in critical battleground states said support for Trump remains solid.

“We haven’t moved the needle here,” said Mike Knisley, executive secretary-treasurer with the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, who estimated that about half of his members voted for Trump in 2016 and will do so again. “Even if given all the information that’s been put out there, all the facts — just pick an issue that the president has had his hands in — it doesn’t make a difference.”…

“He has a very, very, very solid foundation of our members,” said James Williams, a vice president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, whose surveys of members painted a similar picture. “They connect with his messaging and a lot of the fear-mongering going all the way back to when he was first elected with, ‘Be afraid of the immigrant. The immigrant’s here to take your job.’ That resonated with our membership. They feel like their way of life and their way of living is under attack and without really understanding the dynamics at play. I mean, the immigrant worker is being abused by employers.”