Playback speed
Share post
Share post at current time

Do celebrity endorsements work in politics?

The Biden campaign has the support of Robert De Niro. Nikki Haley had Judge Judy. Does that make a difference to voters?

Celebrity endorsements of politicians are nothing new, but are they effective?

That debate kicked into overdrive in 2016 when a many pop culture icons supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Clinton won the popular vote – but lost the electoral college.

Now, in 2024 things are getting weird.

President Biden has lined up Robert De Niro, who not only voiced a campaign ad, but joined the Biden campaign for a press conference outside of the Manhattan Supreme Court in New York City, during former President Trump’s hush money trial.

Studies show that a celebrity endorsement won’t work in a candidate’s favor unless they have two qualities at once: Familiarity and favorability.

For example, before she dropped out of the race, Nikki Haley touted an endorsement From Judge Judy. And the Biden campaign is reportedly seeking an endorsement from Taylor Swift – who endorsed Biden in 2020.

Generally, celebrities don’t seem as eager to endorse candidates this election cycle. Many appear to be reluctant given increasing polarization over issues like inflation or the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.