U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, facing his first Democratic primary challenge as a senator, received the political backing of the state's largest labor organization on Tuesday.
But the AFL-CIO voted only to endorse the three-term senator for the Aug. 8 primary.
That means if Lieberman loses to businessman Ned Lamont, he won't have the guarantee of the labor group's backing should he run as an unaffiliated candidate for the November election...
Tom Swan, Lamont's campaign manager, praised the delegates to the AFL-CIO convention for deciding to make an endorsement only for the primary.
"That's a very, very big deal," he said, adding how it could be a potentially fatal blow to Lieberman in the general election. (AP)
John DeStefano was also endorsed by the AFL-CIO. An interesting sidenote to his endorsment was this release by the Malloy campaign:
Today the AFL-CIO voted to endorse Dan's opponent in the primary. Considering that John DeStefano had this wrapped up six weeks ago and publicly announced it back in May, there was no suspense heading into today, nor was any news made. We expected it, and we have planned for it. But here's what happened that wasn't predicted: the response Dan Malloy received. He was received warmly when he entered, he was interrupted by applause many times while he was speaking, and when he was done half the people in the room gave him a standing ovation, and the other half looked like they wanted to.
Why? It's the same thing that happened as Dan won the Democratic State Convention: Dan makes a great impression on the people in the room due to his energy, his passion, his charisma, his record, and most of all, his ideas.(Malloy AFL-CIO)
This makes me wonder how much the endorsement of a big labor union means. Union membership has fallen from a high of about 20% of the workforce down to about 12%, and it seems like the clout of the unions isn't what it used to be.
Oh, it's still a big deal. A union endorsement means added organization and a bigger get out the vote push. But how much more? How much bigger? How much is a union endorsement actually worth? Can it win the primary for DeStefano and/or Lieberman? How many union members will vote against the endorsed candidate? It'll be interesting to see.
"News and notes from the campaign trail." Associated Press 27 June, 2006.
"AFL-CIO Convention Statement." Dan Malloy for Governor. Press Release. 27 June, 2006.