The impact and influence of celebrities in the 2016 election

Michelle Mifsud and Nicole Fennell, Staff Writer

As with most presidential elections, many celebrities have been showing their support for either the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, or the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, through the use of social media and holding fundraisers to help raise money,

Celebrities have always had a huge impact on elections in general, in what has become known as the “Oprah Effect,” according to Kellogg Insight. In the 2008 election, Oprah Winfrey held a fundraiser and invited then Democratic nominee, Barack Obama over to her house. Many stars came to the event and they raised several million dollars and gained over  one million votes for the primaries.  It was a huge help to Barack Obama who ended up winning the presidency.

Hillary Clinton seems to have Hollywood’s biggest stars backing her to be the first woman president, like Kanye West, his wife Kim Kardashian-West, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry and many more. However, that isn’t to say that Donald Trump is completely without his own group of celebrities which include Kid Rock, Azealia Banks, Mike Tyson, Johnny Damon, and Mike Ditka.

Because celebrities are so highly regarded, many question whether they have a right to voice their opinions so vocally. Since they are so well respected, they could influence their fans.  Others disagree.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” U.S history teacher, Mr. Summers said.  “They have a right to express their opinion like everyone else. However, they should not be used for other people to make their opinion.”

Despite celebrities being vocal about their choice in politics, many of their fans don’t pay attention to what they have to say and don’t let it affect their own opinion.

Junior Haylee Poltorak is a fan of former soccer player Abby Wambach. Abby is endorsing Hillary, yet her views do not change Haylee’s support of Trump in the election.

Likewise, Junior Meaghan Liebegott said she pays little attention to her favorite celebrities’ political viewpoints.  

On the other hand, some fans do agree with what celebrities have to say in the election. Beyonce has a major impact on all of her fans, including Junior Grace Detomasso, both of whom are supporting Hillary in the election. “It makes me feel better that she supports her too,” Grace said about Beyonce’s opinion.

While using social media and endorsing fundraisers for both opposing campaigns, celebrities hold an impact on the opinion of certain voters and it can make their view of the celebrity change, as well as their view of a certain candidate; in some cases, the opinion of celebrities has no effect on the mind of a voter, but there is no doubt that celebrity endorsements play a role in the outcome of the election.

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