Why are political endorsements important?


Why are political endorsements important?

In: Other

A politician endorsing someone from their own party doesn’t seem that surprising to me

Evaluating whether you should vote for a candidate is complicated and based on many factors. Voters take shortcuts to make their decision easier. Political party is one of these–if a candidate is affiliated with a party I like, he is more likely to be my preferred kind of candidate. Endorsements are another shortcut: if I respect a person’s judgment, and he endorses this candidate, that is another reason this candidate is likely to be right for me.

Political science research shows that broadly, voters that use these methods tend to select the candidate who most closely aligns with their views (presumably the correct choice) even though they did not compare their views to the candidate’s.

This is the simplest way I can put it: Endorsements signal things to voters who may not be paying attention.

Imagine there’s a local race in your city and there’s two people running in your party’s primary. You know nothing about these guys at all aside from the fact that they’re both members of your party. How are you supposed to know which one to vote for? Endorsements can help you decide.

Say the Governor of your state endorses one of the people running. Now you know that a high-profile office holder in your state trusts this person and thinks they’re the best one for the job. Say an organization dedicated to an issue that you care a lot about endorses one of the people running. Now you know that this person is probably a good candidate on that issue. So in this sense endorsements help people sort through the noise and figure out what candidates’ priorities are and who they should vote for. It may be hard to believe, but endorsements like this, especially in smaller local elections where not many voters are paying attention, can be very decisive in determining who wins.

To take a real world, bigger example, take a look at Joe Biden in the Democratic primary. He was losing quite badly at first, but then he won South Carolina dominantly. Immediately after that, almost everybody in the establishment wing of the party began to endorse him one after the another, including many of his former opponents. This was the party’s way of signaling to the voters that the time is now to all get behind Biden and back him so we can get rid of Bernie and end this primary. And the voters agreed.

Lastly, endorsements can be a way of displaying unity. So for example Bernie Sanders choosing to endorse Hillary after she beat him or Hillary endorsing Obama after he beat her. It’s a way of showing “despite our differences, we need to unite behind this person because we have common goals.”

pretend you are campaigning

you are pledging schools lack funding and are going to help.

if the teachers unions decide to back the other candidate your stance seems less sincere because why would the teachers union be against you ?