Politics 2016

Hillary Clinton Wins Union Endorsements, But Not Enthusiasm

 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses union members as she tours the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada August 18. David Becker/Reuters

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses union members as she tours the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada August 18. David Becker/Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – California nurse Katy Roemer remembers how at the height of the Ebola crisis last year, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders marched arm-in-arm with union workers as they fought for hazmat suits and other protections to treat patients with infectious diseases.

Roemer’s gratitude is why she keeps a large stash of “Bernie” stickers and posters in her car and is urging people she knows to back his White House bid. She jokes that she will be telling friends and family members: “You’re not coming to dinner if you didn’t vote.”

If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, Roemer said she would vote for her in the November 2016 general election but she will not volunteer for her campaign.

Roemer’s comments crystallize a risk Clinton faces as she courts organized labor—a potential enthusiasm gap. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has racked up a string of formal endorsements, but many rank-and-file union members remain drawn to Sanders.

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