Poll: Most voters say celebrity political endorsements don’t matter

A large majority of registered voters say political endorsements from celebrities have no impact on their voting, according to a new poll.

A Hill-HarrisX survey released Friday found that 65 percent of respondents said political pronouncements from Hollywood stars have no bearing on their decisions at the ballot box.

Twenty-four percent said endorsements would make them less likely to vote for a particular candidate, while 11 percent said the celebrity endorsements made them more likely to vote a certain way.

Younger respondents were more likely to say celebrity endorsements would nudge them to back a candidate. Twenty-three percent of voters under the age of 35 said a Hollywood figure’s seal of approval made them more likely to vote for a candidate.

Twelve percent of respondents between the ages of 35 and 49 agreed, as did 7 percent of those between 50 and 64 and 1 percent of respondents 65 and older.

Men were somewhat more likely to say that a celebrity endorsement would be persuasive. Fourteen percent of male respondents said a nod of approval from an entertainment figure would improve positively influence them, compared with 8 percent of women who agreed.

At the same time, 28 percent of men said Hollywood stars’ recommendations to support specific politicians made them less likely to vote for those candidates. Twenty percent of women agreed.

Republicans were significantly more opposed to celebrity endorsements than Democrats, with 38 percent of GOP respondents saying such endorsements harmed candidates’ chances with them, compared to 14 percent of Democrats who said the same. Twenty-one percent of independents said the endorsements made them less likely to back chosen candidates.

Around 10 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents said celebrity endorsements made them more favorably disposed toward candidates.

Across racial groups, non-white respondents were more likely to say they would be positively influenced by celebrity endorsements than white respondents. Nineteen percent of respondents who were black, Hispanic or of Asian ancestry said an entertainment figure’s seal of approval would make them more likely to vote for the candidate, while 7 percent of white respondents said the same.

Respondents living in urban areas were somewhat more likely to say they viewed celebrity endorsements favorably. Sixteen percent of voters living in cities said they would be more likely to vote for candidates with a celebrity endorsement, while 10 percent of rural residents and 9 percent of suburban residents agreed.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online June 7-8 among a statistically representative sample of registered voters with a 3.1 percent sampling margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level.

—Matthew Sheffield


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