The paper was published in the May 2012 issue of the journal American Politics Research (published online before print December 6, 2011, doi: 10.1177/1532673X11429371 American Politics Research May 2012 vol. 40 no. 3 476-500).
Dr. Nownes states in the EurekAlert article University of Tennessee professor looks at how stars' endorsements can help -- or hurt -- politicians: "Celebrities are always getting involved in politics and no one ever studies them.”
And, in his paper, Nownes explains his research: “In this study, I report the results of a pretest-posttest, control group experiment in which some of my more than 500 respondents were exposed to factual information about celebrity support for political parties and some were not.”
Specifically, Nownes asked over 500 students from the University of Tennessee about their reaction to the information that actress Jennifer Aniston supported and donated to the Democratic party in the United States and quarterback Peyton Manning supported and donated to the Republican party.
Nownes states in his paper, “I proceed from the assumption that celebrity political activity is more likely to influence citizens’ views of political parties than it is to affect either citizens’ vote choices or views of individual candidates.“
So, do endorsements from such Hollywood stars that have been in the news lately (such as actors George Clooney and Tom Hanks, comedian Jeff Foxworthy, rock singer Ted Nugent, and country singer Trace Adkins) help to promote their favorite politicians and influence voters?
According to Dr. Nownes: Yes, it does.
Page two concludes.