Oprah's Obama Endorsement a Wash, Say VotersPew Research Center for the People and the Press Examines Effects of Celebrity Endorsements 9/20/2007 09:59:00 AM Eastern
The endorsement of stars like Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart or even Tiger Woods would not translate to any more votes and -- somewhat curiously in the case of Stewart, Woods and several others -- could actually hurt their chances.
Respondents said Oprah's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) -- she has stumped and raised funds for him -- will have essentially no effect on getting their vote, but they still think it could help his run for the White House.
According to the survey, 15% said Oprah's endorsement would make them more likely to vote for Obama, while the same 15% said it would make them less likely and 69% said it would make no difference. That is down from a 2000 poll that found that 14% said her endorsement would make them more likely to vote for a candidate and 11% less likely.
But 60% still said they thought Oprah's support would help his overall candidacy, while only 3% said it would hurt, although how that squares with the vote results is not clear.
There was a clear split along party with an Oprah endorsement, however, with 23% of Democrats saying her endorsement of a candidate (not necessarily Obama) would make them more likely to vote for that candidate, while only 13% said it would make them less likely. It was reversed for Republicans, with 10% saying it would help and 22% hurt.
But Oprah's was actually the best result for star endorsers.
Asked whether the endorsement of Jay Leno would help or hurt, only 6% said it would make them more likely to vote for them, while 16% said it would make them less likely, with the rest saying it made no difference.
Bill O'Reilly's support would make 11% more likely but 21% less likely; Woods 6% more likely but 13% less likely; and Stewart 10% more likely but 15% less likely.
The highest negatives among the TV stars (which Woods definitely is if you check NBC's golf ratings last week) was Donald Trump, with 5% saying it would help and 20% saying it would hurt.