How Helpful Are Political Endorsements?

Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 12:14pm
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Last week, former Vice President Joe Biden was in the Valley and he endorsed Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema in her bid to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake. It wasn’t a surprise.

Sinema is competing with Attorney Deedra Abboud in the Democratic primary, but she’s clearly considered the party’s best chance to win a Senate seat — which hasn’t happened since Dennis DeConcini left office in 1994.

But how much of a difference can endorsements make? The Show checked in with three political veterans who come at the question from various perspectives.

The first is Arizona Republic Editorial Director Phil Boas, who took a firestorm of criticism when the paper gave Hillary Clinton the nod over Donald Trump for president in 2016, and Boas says the purpose of newspaper endorsements isn’t to sway the outcome of an election.

To get the perspective of someone who has been in the political trenches, The Show also spoke with conservative strategist Constantin Querard. He is president of Grassroots Partners in the Valley.

Thad Kousser, political science professor and department chair at the University of California-San Diego, co-wrote a report about the causal effects of endorsements. He told The Show that endorsements tend to matter more in down ballot races than in those involving better known candidates and offices.

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