Card check = Blanche | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 22, 2008

Card check = Blanche

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 8:31 AM

Nate Silver, looking at the potential for passage of card check legislation, concludes as others have that it just might come down to Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Except that, Democrats are in danger of losing at least one vote: Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln, who has suggested that she is "undecided" on the measure. Arkansas has very low union participation: between its manufacturing and construction sectors, 6.0 percent of its workforce participates in unions, about half the national average.

Arkansas is not the only state with a Democratic senator and low union membership. Pretty much the entirety of the South is in the same boat, with the important exception of Louisiana. But, while there aren't many union members in Virginia, North Carolina or Florida -- nor in some states like New Mexico outside of the South -- Barack Obama is quite popular in all of those areas, which he is not in Arkansas. Arkansas and really Arkansas alone presents the unique combination of Obama being unpopular and the union movement being virtually nonexistent, and among the two Democratic senators in Arkansas, Lincoln is up for re-election in 2010, whereas Mark Pryor is not. It's not a coincidence that she's hemming and hawing on EFCA.

If Lincoln leaves the caucus on EFCA, the Democrats' task becomes exponentially more difficult.

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