Do political endorsements matter?

Political candidates can become famous by establishing their credibility and winning endorsements. It is still debatable if endorsements can help get votes. The survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with the Washington Post on January 2012 concluded that Republican voters thought endorsements from political figures, newspapers, were important in the presidential race. But the recent polls conducted by Siena College/NY Times showed that 6 out of 10 Democratic voters thought that endorsements by political figures will help them decide whom to vote.

There are some endorsements that can be beneficial. For instance, community groups, local unions, political parties that have not come forward with their candidate can support a contestant who is already standing up for elections. Many times, an organization can approach a candidate who may choose not to seek endorsements. Certain groups also follow certain specific process, such as a candidate may be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the issue related to the organization that needs to be considered during an election campaign. In addition, some organizations have volunteers, contributions, Get out the Vote drive strategies, to name a few.

Seeking the support of celebrities and going public with them, personal endorsement in the local newspaper, endorsement by a well-known public figure in the locality can carry extra weight among the local citizens. Being backed by local public figures sometimes is far better than getting out-of-town celebrity to promote a candidate.

Endorsements in local newspapers can influence the voters to a great extent. Being part of the editorial board in the newspaper is a great platform for a candidate to put forth his/ her agenda.

Issues of the candidates help the voters decide whom to select, therefore, many turn to endorsements. Representative Charles Rangel, having served 22 terms in Congress, is backed by former President Bill Clinton and the U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand from New York. This high-profile support gives him a healthy lead over his opponent, State Senator Adrian Espaillat in the race. Senator Espaillat is being endorsed by Scott Stringer, NY City Comptroller and Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Council President. This support lacks the blow compared to Rangel’s backing.

A candidate cannot win an election by single endorsement. Though, political endorsements are not considered successful, but financial and organizational aid can make a lot of difference. This November, one will get to see the voters attention on the issues of every candidate.

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