Nearly 9 in 10 People Said No Celebrity Endorsement Would Sway Their Vote

But public increasingly sour on celebrities who endorse political candidates they dislike
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (c) speaks as (L-R) Andrew Yang, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tom Steyer listen during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. As the 2020 primaries commence in earnest, 89% say there's no celebrity endorsement that could sway their vote. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
February 11, 2020 at 9:45 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • 58% of adults, 58% of Democrats and 63% of Republicans said they would be less likely to be a fan of a celebrity who publicly endorsed a candidate they did not support.

  • That’s up from 49% of adults, 55% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans who said the same in a July 2019 survey.

  • 89% of adults said there is no celebrity who could encourage them to change their vote, though 19% of adults under 30 said the opposite.

As the road to the 2020 election kicks into high gear and more celebrities voice their support for different candidates, a new round of Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter polling found that most of the public, including both Republicans and Democrats, is increasingly less likely to be fan of a celebrity who supported a candidate they did not like -- and nearly 9 in 10 Americans said there is no celebrity who could motivate them to vote for a different candidate.   

A Jan. 30-Feb. 1 survey of 2,200 U.S. adults found that over half (56 percent) of adults said they would be less likely to be a fan of a celebrity if he or she hosted a fundraiser for a candidate they did not support, up 6 percentage points from a July 2019 poll.

While the needle didn’t move much for Democrats during that time period (57 percent in the recent poll said they would be less likely to be a fan compared to 56 percent in the earlier survey), Republicans were 9 points more likely to sour on a celebrity for a fundraiser, at 61 percent, than in the previous poll.

And 58 percent of all adults, along with an equal share of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans, said they would be less likely to be a fan of a celebrity if he or she publicly endorsed a political candidate they did not support. That’s up 9 points for adults overall from July, with an increase of 3 points for Democrats and an increase of 12 points among Republicans since the previous poll.

The polls both have a margin of error of 2 points, while the Democratic and Republican subsamples each have a 4-point margin of error.

Several celebrities have already endorsed Democratic presidential candidates in this election cycle: Singer Ariana Grande said she’s backing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while actors Sharon Stone and Kevin Costner endorsed former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson gave their support to former Vice President Joe Biden.

On average, more than a third (36 percent) of Democrats said that the specific celebrity endorsements were unlikely to sway their vote one way or another. However, certain demographics were more likely to be impacted by celebrity endorsements: Among those ages 18-29, 29 percent said Grande’s endorsement of Sanders would make them more likely to vote for him, and one-third of African Americans said an endorsement of Biden from Hanks and Wilson would make them more likely to vote for Biden.

But overall, the idea of celebrity endorsements failed to move the needle for most adults. Eighty-nine percent of the public, along with 88 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of Republicans, said there was no celebrity whose endorsement would make them more likely to vote for a candidate they weren't previously planning to vote for. Nearly one-fifth of those ages 18-29 said the opposite.

Sarah Shevenock previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering the business of entertainment.

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