Celebrities, they’re just like us. They shop at the grocery store, go to the gym, and like to tell everyone what they think about politics.
But how much does it actually matter? Can famous actors and musicians change anyone’s vote?
A study published in the Journal of Law, Economics & Organization in 2013 found Oprah’s endorsement of then-Senator Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 election had a “statistically and politically significant effect” and was estimated to have netted Obama 1,015,559 votes in the Democratic primary.A study found Oprah’s endorsement influenced the 2008 Democratic primary.
Areas with a higher concentration of Oprah fans also had “higher-than-expected” levels of support for Obama.
But Oprah, who at the time had a daily audience of 8 million television viewers and 16 million magazine readers, was “the upper bound of the potential effect of a celebrity endorsement,” the study said. Lil B defecting from Clinton to Bernie Sanders isn’t going to have the same effect (but maybe someone like Taylor Swift or Bill Gates could).
Still, as long as there are politicians, there will be celebrities willing to go public with their support. Here are some celebrities who’re already backing candidates, either through explicit endorsements or more subtle statements.
Scott WalkerImage credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images
Baio, who starred as Chachi in “Happy Days,” said Walker “sounds a lot like Reagan.”
Marco RubioImage credit: Win McNamee / Getty
The star of “Pawn Stars” endorsed Rubio and hosted a fundraiser for him in May.Image credit: Fox News
Rand PaulImage credit: Ethan Miller / Getty
Vaughn, who attended campaign events for Ron Paul in 2012, called Rand “the candidate that is currently running that I am most sort of aligned with in sort of his thoughts and philosophies” during comments at UCLA.Image credit: Bryan Steffy / Getty
Mike HuckabeeImage credit: Scott Olson / Getty
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were the top two endorsements listed on Huckabee’s website earlier this year. Huckabee defended the family following allegations their son Josh molested underage girls when he was a teenager, writing on Facebook that Josh’s actions were “inexcusable,” but not “unforgivable.”
The top two people on a Mike Huckabee sidebar of people who "like Mike" are Duggars pic.twitter.com/NvIgbi1fG9
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) May 7, 2015
Norris told the New York Times, “I still believe Mike Huckabee is the most qualified. He has the moral clarity and experience to lead our great country forward.”Image credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty
Orlando performed at Huckabee’s presidential announcement and called the candidate, “the most trusted man I’ve ever met in my life.”Image credit: Matt Sullivan / Getty
Bobby JindalImage credit: Sean Gardner / Getty
Robertson told Fox News, “I’d like to see [Jindal] make a run for it, and you know, if so, we’ll definitely be trying to help him out.”Image credit: Mike Windle / Getty
Bernie SandersImage credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty
Lil B rapped in the song “B**tch I’m Bill Clinton” that Hillary would, “be president soon, baby,” but this week came out in support of Sanders. The rapper said he supported Sanders’ views on education and respected his involvement in fighting segregation.
Ruffalo was a longtime supporter of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), but now that it’s clear she’s not running, he’s begun tweeting support for Sanders.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 28, 2015
Martin O’MalleyImage credit: Win McNamee / Getty
Simons, who plays Jonah on “Veep,” told Bloomberg, “I’m for Martin O’Malley.”Image credit: HBO
Ben CarsonImage credit; Joe Raedle / Getty
Kid Rock told the New York Times magazine, “I’m very interested in the things that Ben Carson has to say.” He supported Romney in 2012, letting the candidate use his song “Born Free” at campaign events.Image credit: Ethan Miller / Getty
Donald TrumpImage credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty
@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) July 24, 2015
Nugent told “The Rita Cosby Show” Trump would, “kick a** and take names and that’s what America needs right now.”Image credit: Randy Snyder / Getty
Hillary ClintonImage credit: Kris Connor / Getty
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) April 12, 2015
Beyoncé attended a fundraiser for Clinton in May. She backed Obama in the last election and suggested those who voted for Mitt Romney were “mitches” in a post she later deleted.
I'm in. https://t.co/ym7YB9yyOn
— Carole King (@Carole_King) April 12, 2015
Aiken publicly supported Clinton the day she announced her campaign, but said on Twitter and CSPAN he wanted her to loosen up because she seemed to stiff in the video.Clay Aiken on C-SPAN.
The rapper told Fox Business, “I like Hillary,” and, “I also think Jeb is a good candidate as well, but I’m a Democrat so I will vote Hillary.”Image credit: Fox Business
Lopez told E! News, “I’m very excited by the news [of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign announcement],” and, “I think it’s time for a woman.”Jennifer Lopez attends the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City. Image credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
The pop star met Clinton on her book tour for Hard Choices. Perry tweeted her support for the Clinton candidacy and offered to write the former Secretary of State a campaign song.
Kanye and Kim Kardashian West
I got my selfie!!! I really loved hearing her speak & hearing her goals for our country! #HillaryForPresident A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on
The singer told Rolling Stone, “I’m a fan of Hillary Clinton.” She expressed her love of Ron Paul in the 2012 election.Kelly Clarkson performs onstage during The iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party at Caesars Palace on May 30, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Image credit: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
The music exec hosted a fundraiser for Clinton in May.
— LA Reid (@LA_Reid) May 14, 2015
Dunham posted a photo on Instagram with a Clinton bumper sticker.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson
The Olsons attended a fundraiser for Clinton in April.
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) April 28, 2015
Ne-Yo told The Hill, “Ms. Clinton — Mrs. Clinton, I should say, she’s a favorite of mine.”Image credit: Michael Loccisano / Getty
Pharrell told GQ, “Hillary’s gonna win. Listen, I’m reaching out to her right now. She’s gonna win.”Image credit: Oli Scarff / AFP/Getty
Robert De Niro
The actor told The Daily Beast, “Hopefully it will be [Clinton as the next president], yes. I think that she’s paid her dues. There are going to be no surprises, and she has earned the right to be president and the head of the country at this point.”Robert De Niro onstage during Spike TV’s Guys Choice 2015 at Sony Pictures Studios on June 6, 2015 in Culver City, California.
Snoop said on “Watch What Happens Live,” “I’ll be voting for Ms. Clinton.”Image credit: Bravo
Waka Flocka Flame
When asked by MTV News who he was voting for, Waka Flocka said, “Hillary. A woman could do it.”Image credit: MTV
The rapper told The Daily Beast, “It’s Hillary Time.”Image credit: Michael Buckner / Getty
On the fenceImage credit: Darren McCollester / Getty
Barkley told Sports Illustrated he has always voted for Democratic candidates, but he likes “some of the Republicans this time around. I like Chris Christie. I like Jeb Bush. I like those guys.”Image credit: Ethan Miller / Getty
Did we miss any? Let us know.