Iowa service workers backed John Edwards today, and their huge 650,000-member California branch followed suit along with 8 other chapters. SEIU's support gives Edwards about 1 million possible foot soldiers and attendees in his make-it-or-break-it drive for an upset victory at the Iowa caucus. Endorsements from other sizable SEIU chapters will follow, Dem officials say.
Edwards has courted labor more than other hopefuls, but the national SEIU stung him last week by refusing to endorse. SEIU workers can compensate by going to Iowa to help, and councils that picked other candidates—Illinois and Indiana tapped Obama today—must stay out of the cornfields altogether because Iowa’s branch backed Edwards, the New York Times reports.