Does celebrity influence impact voters?

Does celebrity influence impact voters?

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Hillary Clinton campaign is bringing rapper Jay-Z to Cleveland on Friday, but local political experts say celebrity endorsements may not have that great an impact on voters.

"I don't think that celebrities play an important part in electoral politics," said Case Western Reserve University Professor Justin Buchler. "It's important to keep in mind that somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of all votes in a presidential election are just voters who are partisans voting their party identification, which means you only have about 10 to 20 percent of the electorate left."

Buchler says it's easier for Democratic candidates to find celebrity support.

"There's really no point of Republicans trying because the entertainment industry tends to lean Democratic," said Buchler.

Donald Trump has seen support from some well-known names such as Dennis Rodman and duck dynasty star Willie Robertson, who spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Voters in Cleveland weighed in on whether big names sway their decisions.

"I do keep up with all the endorsements that go on, but by and large I say no," said Charlie Zoller, a student at CWRU.

Calvin James plans to attend Friday's concert, and he says though the headliner won't make an impact on how he votes, he feels Jay-Z could influence others.

"A lot of females follow Beyonce, and a lot of guys follow Jay Z," said James.

Talia Adler agrees celebrities have a major connection with their fans, but believes it's best to make an informed decision.

"I know it could be a struggle for a lot of people to go as their favorite celebrity has gone, but I do think it's important to pick whatever candidate for the right reasons," said Adler.

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