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Do political endorsements matter?

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Wide White: Do political endorsements matter?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do political endorsements matter?

Much is made of political endorsements. Each year newspapers and prominent politicians roll out their endorsements of various candidates. This year is no different.

In Minnesota the governor's race has drawn the most attention. The endorsement leader has been no surprise. While liberal Democrat Mark Dayton has garnered most of the union endorsements and conservative Republican Tom Emmer has picked up those from traditionally Republican organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Independent Tom Horner has received the majority of endorsements.

Horner has managed to pick up almost every newspaper endorsement, including those from both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press, as well as endorsements from 3 former governors, a former US Senate candidate, and numerous former state legislators.

Yet in spite of these and other endorsements, Horner's been unable to manage higher than 19% in any statewide polling.

This isn't to say Horner can't win. Jesse Ventura won 12 years ago and was lagging in every poll. However, Ventura also had a personality and notoriety that Horner can only wish he had.

I believe Horner is the best candidate. I plan to vote for Horner. But I don't believe Horner will win. In a world of politics dominated by advertising and party loyalty, the endorsements mean very little.

If there had been a surprise in the endorsements, it's possible that it would mean something, though still doubtful. Horner is the moderate in the group and most newspapers try to steer towards the center. Most of the people who endorsed Horner are moderates, whether or not they've been Democrats or Republicans in the past, and no sitting politician has endorsed him. Considering how much they need their own parties, it would be a shock if anyone did.

That's really why endorsements don't matter. They don't surprise any of us. They don't make anyone stop and think twice about who they should vote for.

Has an endorsement ever impacted your vote?



Anonymous Bill Roehl declared,

Has an endorsement ever impacted your vote?


10/27/2010 8:21 AM  

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