en·dorse·ment

[inˈdôrsmənt, enˈdôrsmənt] NOUN

  1. an act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something.
  2. synonyms: support · backing · approval · seal of approval
  3. [more]

Do political endorsements matter?

The candidates running in the Republican Presidential Primary have been actively vying for political endorsements for over a year now and James Pindell of the Boston Globe has been keeping track.

Let’s be honest, only one vote is promised by an endorsement. So why is it that securing endorsements seems so important to campaigns? Probably the most value you can squeeze out of an endorsement is the media coverage. Will the press write stories about the endorsement? Is the person who endorses articulate and charismatic so that he/she can act as an effective surrogate for the candidate?

As with most aspects of a campaign, timing is critical. Here are two moments when announcing major political endorsements might matter most:

Meaningful endorsements can validate a candidate early on in the election cycle.

Example: Ohio Governor John Kasich received several high-level Republican endorsements in New Hampshire very soon after he announced that he was running.

As we get closer to a primary or election day, additional endorsements display evidence of momentum.

Example: On December 21st, 2015 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s campaign announced support of “73 Grassroots Leaders” in Iowa in an effort to display growing appeal and a sense that Republicans will coalesce in support of his campaign.

Of course, not all endorsements are helpful. Here are some of the worst:

Click here to see the full list of the Worst Political Endorsements Ever.

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