There is no denying how impactful celebrity endorsements can be on the public, especially in today’s political landscape. As the 2018 midterm election approaches, more and more celebrities are attempting to mobilize people to get to the polls and vote! But are these endorsements actually affecting candidates’ numbers?
Many celebrities have been seen personally endorsing candidates from their home states. Recently, Taylor Swift posted on Instagram that she will be voting for Tennessee candidates Jim Cooper and Phil Bredesen. Will Ferrell was spotted knocking on doors in Georgia endorsing Stacey Abrams for governor. Jack Black and Meryl Streep made large donations to Senator Claire McCaskill’s reelection fund. Even the Houston native, Travis Scott, voiced his support for Beto O’Rourke.
It is obvious celebrities have an effect on the way people think. People are more likely to use a product if they see a celebrity using that product or endorsing it. Also, the more credible celebrities have a much higher impact on people’s opinions and decisions. However, this does not seem to apply to the political scene.
According to Gallup, Pew, and CBS News, celebrity-endorsed campaigns do not matter to the overwhelming majority of voters. CBS News polls revealed that 78% of people expected celebrity endorsements to have little to no effect on the election. Some experts say poll numbers may not accurately reflect the true impact that big-name celebrities have on campaigns.
So maybe, celebrities that endorse politicians aren’t doing the trick. One study found that an increase in young voter participation could be attributed to celebs that influence fans to “get out and vote”. Many celebrities are posting pictures of their “I Voted” stickers and tweeting to their fans the importance of having your voice heard by voting.
Overall, a voter who typically votes for one party is not going to turn around and become a supporter of another party because a celebrity told them to. But people who were undecided or weren’t planning on voting in the first place could be persuaded to get out to the polls. The link between celebrity power and politics has a long history and most studies claim it does not affect the way people vote. Perhaps the question we should ask is, “Do celebrity endorsements make you pay more attention?”
– Lizzy Regnery
I definitely don’t think a celebrity can change someone’s vote. People are usually set in their ways, and unless the celebrity is very important to a specific person, the average Joe can easily shrug off their recommendations. Though I don’t think celebrities can change a person’s vote, I do think that they can motivate people to vote if they weren’t going to or were on the fence about it. When seeing so many celebrities stressing the importance of voting, it’s hard not to go with the crowd.
I absoluetly agree, when I was researching this topic I was actually surprised that celebrities don’t sway voters. I assumed they would have a great influence on the party politics. I am pleased to see celebrities stress the need to go vote, not who to vote for.
With the popularity and influence that social media has, an endorsement from a celebrity could really play a pivotal role in influencing a large amount of younger individuals to go out and cast their vote for that individual. One celebrity could be exactly what a canadian needs to win an election.
Thank you for your comment Michael! I think celebrities can influence young voters maybe not for which canidate to vote for, but to get out and do your civic duty.
I was honestly surprised that celebrities don’t have more of an impact on elections. I expected for the people in this day an age to be more easily swayed by celebrities and public figures opinions. I’m happy that the statistics prove that I’m wrong because it gives me hope for the citizens of our country. I’m also happy that the public figures are doing more good by encouraging people to get out and vote.
Thank you for your comment! I agree I was surprised too! I am much happier knowing celebrities influence and encourage the need for voting.