Most celebrities have an idea of who they’re supporting for president and many tend to be fairly vocal about that, but do their endorsements actually do anything for presidential candidates? The mainstream media loves to report on celebrity endorsements and CNN has an entire section of their website, in the “Election Center”, devoted to which celebrities endorse the two primary presidential candidates.
While celebrities may not seem like credible sources to everyone they do bring candidates and candidates’ issues into a broader light. Additionally, people that may not read newspapers or watch the news may follow celebrities on twitter or read their blogs. Thus, celebrities have the potential to introduce a new demographic to the political sphere, however involved or passive that participation may be. Celebrities also have the means to donate large quantities of money to political campaigns, as well as encouraging fellow celebrity friends to do the same. This video below from FOX news further explains the benefits that celebrities can bring and also acknowledges that Democrats have more celebrity support than Republicans do.
Although celebrities can bring valuable attention and resources to elections they also occasionally appear merely as figureheads. How many of the celebrities that attend rallies and campaign events really know about the candidates’ issues without a teleprompter feeding them lines? Their knowledge of the issues aside, Clint Eastwood is a good example of what can go wrong when celebrities do stray from their scripts.
However, overall, celebrities are serving their purpose when they endorse candidates, which is to encourage a turnout and to engage the crowd all while raising money for their nominees.