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Do Endorsements Matter?

52 minutes

If your favorite celebrity endorses a candidate for public office it may not matter much to you unless of course it is the candidate you are already supporting. Endorsements from individuals may not move your vote but endorsements come from many different sources and can have a huge impact on a campaign. Our favorite civics teacher gives us a lesson on how endorsements can move politics, money and votes in support of a campaign.

2:55 - 14:10
If you are a documentary filmmaker L. Joy is the embodiment of your target audience. L Joy chats with her thoroughest girls about how she takes action after watching documentaries on the spread of diseases, recycling and more.

16:20 - 48:08
L Joy steps to the front of the class to give us a lesson on political endorsements. Endorsements come from many different sources. They can be from individuals like celebrities, former and existing elected officials, activists, organizers and even regular folks like you.

Campaigns actively seek out endorsements from other sources like labor unions, PACs, and local community based organizations. A number of entities have a process that candidates must follow in order to receive an endorsement and can include issue questionnaires, interviews with members and leadership and/or votes from the organizations membership.

As a political strategist, L. Joy shares how she evaluates pursuing and using endorsements. Does it move our politics, move money or move voters? All endorsements may not move all three things but they should move at least one. Campaigns also determine how to effectively use endorsements in their favor. You can use individual endorsements as surrogates for the campaign. Endorsements from newspapers, issue based PACs and political institutions communicate to voters your political ideology or your support for specific issues and causes. Endorsements from membership based groups like labor unions can give your campaign boots on the ground to help knock doors and help make calls to voters.

Campaign donations can also come from endorsements. If a candidate receives the endorsement from a labor union or a PAC that may also come with a campaign contribution or the entity can spend money on behalf of the campaign (with some restrictions). While we overall want to reduce the influence money has in our political process, L Joy argues that only restricting how much individuals and entities can contribute without addressing the other side of how much campaigns have to spend and what those increasing costs are.


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