Do celebrity endorsements help candidates?

Elections 2022

(NewsNation) — As the midterm election nears, celebrities are endorsing their favored candidates. But will it make a difference at the polls?

Lin-Manuel Miranda has campaigned for Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock. Miranda has also stumped for Nevada secretary of state candidate Cisco Aguilar.

John Fetterman has support from Paul Rudd and musician Dave Matthews.

In Texas, gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke has endorsements from Willie Nelson and Harry Styles.

Other celebrities, including Martin Sheen, John Legend and Barbra Streisand, have used social media to draw attention to races in multiple states.

On the Republican side, Ultimate Fighting Championship champion and Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo has appeared with Kari Lake, who is running for secretary of state in Arizona.

Mark Harvey, a professor with University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas said celebrities can attract attention from voters.

“When you get a celebrity in there, you’re probably going to get a whole lot more free coverage,” Harvey said.

Harvey said there’s strong evidence that celebrities can draw attention to issues. But whether or not they have that same power when it comes to promoting specific candidates is another story.

“Whether or not it goes from somebody’s brain having read it to ‘Now I care about the race,” that’s something that I think is very difficult to document,” he said.

The Hill’s Niall Stanage agreed that star power may not make the difference politicians hope it will.

“There are ways celebrity endorsements can have an impact,” he said. “If the endorser is in that real stratosphere of superstardom.”

Stanage said stars like Oprah, Taylor Swift and the Rock have the kind of name recognition that can really make a difference.

Oprah has campaigned for Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor in Georgia.

So far, neither Taylor Swift nor the Rock have endorsed any politicians, though both previously announced their support for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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