Majority say they oppose celebrities getting involved in politics, poll finds

A majority of American voters say they oppose celebrities giving political endorsements, according to a new American Barometer survey. 

The poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 60 percent of respondents said they opposed celebrities giving political endorsements because “they polarize public opinion and distract from the important issues of the day.” 

Forty percent of respondents said they support celebrities giving endorsements because “they spread awareness and engage people to vote.” 

The poll also showed a partisan divide on the issue with 80 percent of Republicans polled saying they oppose the endorsements, and 43 percent of Democrats saying the same. 

Twenty percent of Republicans said they were in favor of celebrity endorsements, while 57 percent of Democrats also said they supported the endorsements.

While Republicans have been skeptical of Hollywood’s involvement in politics, President Trump and former President Reagan were involved in the entertainment industry before they entered politics. 

The poll comes roughly a week after musicians Kanye West and Taylor Swift made waves in the U.S. political arena. 

Swift, who has typically avoided taking a direct political stance, endorsed two Tennessee Democrats in an Instagram post ahead of the midterms and encouraged her fans to vote in November. 

West, on the other hand, took part in a highly unusual Oval Office meeting with Trump, in which he praised the president. 

“I’m not one of those people who says they [celebrities] should stay out [of politics],” Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on “What America’s Thinking,” citing celebrities’ right to free speech. 

“I do think it’s not terribly helpful when the Hollywood elite come out and attack Trump. I think that it doesn’t help Democrats all that much,” she continued. 

The American Barometer was conducted from October 13 to 14, 2018, among 1,000 registered voters. The sampling margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. 

— Julia Manchester

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