Crossing the aisle: In the end it was the Dems who loved him most, McCain’s final poll numbers show

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In this Sept. 28, 2008 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gives a thumbs up as he arrives at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va.  McCain’s family says the Arizona senator has chosen to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer.  (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

In this Sept. 28, 2008 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gives a thumbs up as he arrives at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va. McCain’s family says the Arizona senator has chosen to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

The nation has been mourning the loss of Sen. John McCain this week, leading up to funeral services this weekend at Washington’s National Cathedral and his burial at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a member of the Class of 1958.

What do we know about what the average American thought about McCain? His overall favorable rating varied pretty widely depending on where he was in his political career, but at the end, he had two very important distinctions as far as public opinion was concerned: A) He got majority favorable rating from Republicans, Independents and Democrats (a rare feat for a politician in today’s polarized world) and B) He got a more favorable rating from Democrats than from Republicans. Overall, he had a much more favorable rating among all Americans than President Trump, but Trump’s image is more positive among Republicans.

We are fast approaching Labor Day weekend. That makes it a good time to check in on Americans’ views of labor unions these days. Although few Americans are members of unions, six in 10 still approve of labor unions, not down that much from when Gallup first asked about unions back in 1936, one of the first questions Gallup ever asked:

There are two competing narratives about worker satisfaction these days. One is that workers should be upbeat and positive given the low unemployment rate and strong economy. The other is that workers should be downbeat because A) they see artificial intelligence on the horizon and realize they will be out of a job in the future, and B) their wages are not improving or keeping up with inflation.

The data show that we don’t see any signs of the concerns. On a trend basis, workers are more satisfied than they have been, and their satisfaction with their pay and their fear of being laid off are trending more positive rather than more negative.

Listen to the audio above to hear the full conversation.

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