Pew’s Research Center is out with a poll show that Republican voters are not swayed by big name endorsements. If endorsements don’t move voters, it begs the questions, why do politicians work so hard for them?
We believe the value of endorsement is to help define a candidate and bring resources to a campaign.
An endorsement from a high-profile politician is like a movie getting a positive review from a big newspaper. It is a cue to voters on the nature of a candidate. However, we live in a cynical age where voters doubt intentions, so this has greatly decreased the strength of this messaging.
The real value for a campaign that can be derived from an endorsement are resources. That is why Democrats always work so hard for labor support. Unions have significant resources in terms of people and money they can use on behalf of a candidate. The same holds true business organizations on the Republican side.
In a campaign, the most valuable resource is time and we frequently see candidates spend a great deal of time seeking endorsements that will not move voters and bring no resources to the campaign. This is an error that can lead to a failed effort.
The goal of any political organization is to spend time to bring people and money into the campaign. If an endorsement helps, that is great, but maybe those two hours in a back room would’ve been better spent calling donors or talking to voters.