Labor a big loser

Thomas Edsall, Washington Post:

"Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) was not the only loser in the Iowa caucuses. Organized labor, especially the nation's manufacturing and industrial unions, which poured huge resources into Iowa to support their longtime ally, suffered an equally embarrassing defeat.

"In addition, the public-sector unions that broke ranks and supported former Vermont governor Howard Dean saw their candidate finish behind Sens. John F. Kerry (Mass.) and John Edwards (N.C.), who had little official union support.

"Labor organizations backing Gephardt and Dean brought hundreds of organizers into Iowa, where about 50,000 union members are registered Democrats eligible to vote in the caucuses. Despite that effort, a plurality of union members, 29 percent, backed Kerry. Dean and Edwards tied for second place with 22 percent each, and Gephardt got only 19 percent, according to surveys of caucus-goers."

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