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Measuring the Oprah Effect: 1000000 Votes

Wall Street Journal Blogs - New York,NY,USA - The impact of celebrity endorsements in political races is hard to nail down, but economists at the University of Maryland think they have it figured out.

When media mogul Oprah Winfrey broke from her past tradition of staying out of politics and endorsed Barack Obama last year, there was much debate over how much Winfrey’s nod would benefit the Illinois senator in his race against former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton.

According to a study by university economists Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore, it added about 1,000,000 votes to Obama’s column in the contested primary battle.

“We find her endorsement had a positive effect on the votes Obama received, increased the overall voter participation rate, and increased the number of contributions received by Obama,” they wrote.

The economists agree that tracking the influence of high-profile supporters is difficult because there “are few academic studies documenting a clear link (or lack thereof) between endorsements and voter behavior” and there are no existing theoretical models on measuring celebrity endorsements of politicians.
Source : Originally Published Wall Street Journal Blogs - New York,NY,USA, Aug 7, 2008
Celebrities : Oprah Winfrey
Categories : Actor News, Television Personality News, Celebrity News, Celebrity Endorsement News
Posted 8/7/2008 05:08:12 AM | Permalink
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