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Prominent GOP Endorsements May Hurt Presidential Candidates More Than Help

Most Americans say major political endorsements won't impact how they vote, and will more likely cause them to have a negative view on the presidential candidate.


Political endorsements by prominent Republicans might actually be more of a liability for GOP candidates than benefit, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

The majority of Republican voters said endorsements by influential GOP leaders like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and John McCain would make no difference to who they vote for (59 percent for Bush, 61 percent for Palin and 63 percent for McCain).

Seven in 10 Republican voters say an endorsement from Michele Bachmann would have no influence in their voting decision – the highest among the list. Herman Cain and Donald Trump endorsements tied among GOP voters, 64 percent saying it would make no difference.

The news gets even worse for the prominent GOP leaders who have yet to make an endorsement. When looking at all voters, every endorsement from the list of leaders would be viewed more negatively than positively.

A quarter (26 percent) of all registered voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate Bush endorses, 14 percent say they would be more likely and 58 percent say it would make no difference.

A Palin endorsement showed 28 percent of voters would view it negatively, 11 percent positively and 60 percent saying it would not matter.

The survey looked past influential GOP leaders and also asked voters how an endorsement form their state governor, local religious leader or newspaper would impact their decision.

Among all voters, 19 percent said it would more likely influence them if a rabbi, priest or minister made an endorsement. Nine percent said it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate and 69 percent said it would have no impact.