The strength of what is happening in the Democratic presidential primary is in direct opposite to what is taking place in the Republican presidential primary.
It all comes down to electability. Thus far Donald Trump is dominating the race for primary voters, but there is no chance of actually electing him as president. Meanwhile Democrats are serious about winning and the ways unions are shaping their support underscores the game plan.
Mr. Cohen (the point man for gaining union support for Bernie sanders) faces hurdles partly because Mrs. Clinton has slimmed the policy differences between her and Mr. Sanders on trade and other issues. A month ago, Mr. Cohen hoped he could win over the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He cited a video where AFSCME members offered scattered applause for Mrs. Clinton and a wild reception for Mr. Sanders.
“Is that some kind of message?” union President Lee Saunders asked the crowd.
AFSCME ultimately sided with Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Saunders said he received her assurance she would enthusiastically support working families, and the union said nearly two-thirds of members surveyed backed her. Polling found that nearly seven in 10 members thought electability more important than total agreement on issues. “We have to win in 2016,” Mr. Saunders said.