Pursuant to Labor Day, and with the steelworkers and miners endorsing Edwards, here is the updated union endorsement scorecard:
- Edwards: United Steel Workers, United Mine Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Carpenters. 2.3 million combined members.
- Clinton: United Transportation Union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. 800,000 combined members.
- Dodd: International Association of Firefighters. 271,000 members
Of course, the size of a union is not the only way to measure its political effectiveness. The Fire Fighters, for example, are widely regarded as a key endorsement despite their somewhat smaller membership. Here is the current line on future union endorsements:
- SEIU, 1.8 million members: Probably Edwards, Obama or no one.
- AFSCME, 1.5 million members: Could be any of the top three
- Teamsters, 1.4 million members: Could be any of the top three
- American Federation of Teachers, 830,000 members: Probably Clinton
- UNITE-HERE: 450,000 members: Probably Edwards
In every other case, from what I understand, pretty much every other union leans toward Edwards, or leans toward not making endorsement. One possible exception I would imagine is that the National Education Association would lean toward Clinton, but I haven't heard much from them about making a primary endorsement. For more information, You can see a complete list of unions with more than 100,000 American members here, and a list of union density by state here. As far as early states go, union members as a percentage of the electorate will be highest in Nevada, second highest in Iowa, third highest in New Hampshire, and lowest in South Carolina. Whether unions will be effective in turning out their membership in these early states, and whether unions will be effective in having their membership vote for the candidate it endorsed, is another question with answers that will vary from union to union.