Re: The impact of endorsements
posted at 9:49 pm on September 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Allahpundit asked an interesting exit question at the end of his post on John McCain’s possible retirement:
Exit question for righties who think a McCain endorsement of Hillary over Paul would mean nothing to anyone: You sure?
Actually, yeah, I’m pretty sure it won’t mean anything, but not because of McCain’s relative draw within the GOP or with independents. I just don’t think endorsements at this level have any impact on the fortunes of candidates with near-total saturation with voters already. Endorsements matter for obscure candidates, perhaps especially in local elections, but also in House and Senate races for newcomers. A well-placed endorsement will allow those candidates to become defined by their associations until they can establish their own identities.
On the presidential level, though, the endorsements are much more about the endorser than the candidate. People already know Hillary Clinton — perhaps too much at this stage. They don’t need John McCain’s endorsement to unravel the mystery for them. The same will be true for all of the realistic front-runners for the party nominations in 2016, too. Endorsements are a way to assign political figures to a team and to raise money, but very few people will back Scott Walker or Mike Pence (to use other potential examples) because a Senator from either party lines up with them.