It looks like the previously reported disconnect between the labor union leadership and its members over 2016 presidential endorsements continues, and their conflicts may be larger than we thought.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is drumming up increasing support from the rank and file of the labor movement — and that is causing turmoil for top union leaders who fear the 73-year-old avowed socialist is a bad bet for the general election. But front-running candidate Hillary Clinton’s refusal to take more explicitly pro-union positions, especially on trade, have made it difficult for the leaders to keep a lid on the grassroots discontent.
A top source at one of the coalitions inside the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, who did not want to be identified, said Sanders, I-Vt., was by far generating the most excitement among his group’s rank and file. The members are excited by both his rhetoric and the fact that he has a long history of supporting union causes, a record Clinton cannot match.
Sanders’ support was so strong that when the AFL-CIO executive council met last week in the hopes of making an early presidential endorsement, its political subcommittee declined to make a recommendation, the source said.
Bernie Sanders is working hard to rally grassroots support behind his socialist agenda: He recently hosted an event that was streamed to viewers in all 50 states.
However, it’s important to keep the enthusiasm surrounding his campaign in perspective. The latest Quinnipiac poll still declares Hillary Clinton the uncontested frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, with 55% to Sanders’s 17%.
Cross-posted at DeneenBorelli.com