Skip to main content

Don’t Thank Your (Un)lucky Stars

This is an election year, and the fact that there was a surge in voting by young people in the last election has been lost on nobody. Conventional wisdom, and some studies, say that celebrities can help encourage young people to become politically active. But while celebrities may (or may not) be able to get people to turn out at the polls, a new study shows that celebrity endorsement of individual political candidates does the politicians no good – and can hurt them.

Study: This is not a good campaign sign.

The study, conducted by researchers Dr. Michael Cobb and Kaye Usry at NC State University, found for example that young voters liked candidates less and were less likely to make campaign contributions to them if the candidates were endorsed by Hollywood stars.

Stars should take note as well, since the most severe backlash was against the celebrities themselves. Young Democrats found celebs less likeable and attractive if they endorsed Republicans, and the same held true for young Republicans when stars endorsed Dems.

Conclusion? Stars should stick to writing campaign checks. Of course, the cast of Predator (including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura) might disagree.