Edwards indebted to union special interests

John Edwards, the former senator from a right-to-work state, has won more union support than his Democratic rivals for the U.S. presidency.

Union members have been putting some muscle behind the Edwards campaign as the Iowa caucuses approach, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reported. They have been ringing door bells across the state and appearing at rallies for their candidate.

Hillary Clinton also has picked up some major union endorsements, including the American Federation of State and County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers, which have major locals in New York state. Barack Obama has no endorsements from national unions, although he has won some local union backing.

Late polls show a three-way tie between Clinton, a senator from New York, Edwards, a former a North Carolina senator, and Obama, a senator from Illinois. The Iowa caucuses take place Thursday.

Peter Francia, a political expert from East Carolina University, said that to some extent Clinton and Obama's unions cancel each other out.

"On the other hand," Francia said, "if Edwards didn't have the ground support from union members from Iowa, he would have very little chance of winning the caucus or winning the nomination."


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