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November 7 2018

The Celebrity Gap

by Charlotte Hays

Comedy Central did a very funny parody of celebrities and their get-out-the-vote campaigns.

It had some priceless lines:

"All Americans are asking themselves the same questions: How will I know if I should vote if celebrities don’t tell me to?" the actors say in the video. "Does Emma Stone think I should vote? What about John Krasinski?"

"Many normal Americans like us don’t know what we should do until celebrities tell us what to do,” they continue. "Tom Holland, Tom Hardy, Thomas the Tank Engine: Should I vote?"

But a look at the results of yesterday's midterm elections indicate that Americans do know how to vote without input from celebrities.

Every candidate with heavy celebrity endorsements lost--with the exception of Oprah-endorsed Stacy Abrams, Georgia gubernatorial candidate, who appears to have lost but is not conceding.

Under Georgia law, the winning gubernatorial candidate needs more than fifty percent of the vote or there will be a runoff. Abrams' opponent Brian Kemp appeared to have 51 percent Wednesday morning. Abrams says that there are votes to be counted.

This probably wasn't the expected outcome for a candidate who drew Oprah Winfrey, America's uber-celebrity, to Georgia to campaign with her. And it wasn't just Oprah.

Actor Will Ferrell and his wife Viveca Paulin-Ferrell also campaigned for Abrams. Rap star Common also attended an Abrams event and endorsed the candidate.

But all these celebrities, if the current count holds, could not get Ms. Abrams across the finish line.

Tennessee-born singer Taylor Swift didn't just endorse Democratic candidate Phil Bresdesen for the Senate from her native state, she took a nasty dig at Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn.

"Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift noted of Blackburn on Instagram. Giving a Swiftian survey of Blackburn's career, the singer concluded: “These are not MY Tennessee values."

But last night they were somebody's Tennessee values, as Blackburn walked away with the Senate seat (seemingly with ten points to spare, according to Wednesday morning's count).

Blackburn had been behind before Swift's endorsement of Bredesen. The proverbial wags have called attention to this.

No candidate attracted more celebrity support than the much-swooned over Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, who lost a bid to unseat  Texas Senator Ted Cruz last night.

Admittedly, O'Rourke actually gave Cruz a run for his money, but even with O'Rourke's coffers overflowing with $70 million, massive and fawning media coverage, and support from smitten celebrities, he still could not bring down Cruz.

I think this points to what might be called the Celebrity Gap--celebrities take themselves seriously. If last night's election result are any indication, normal Americans, who might love to watch them perform, don't take their political opinions quite so seriously.

Meanwhile, celebrities seem remarkably unfazed by O'Rourke's loss and are gearing up for 2020:

 "Beto lost? That’s ok," actress Alyssa Milano tweeted. "Now he can run for President."

Actress Busy Philipps also took to social media to express her hopes of O'Rourke running against President Trump in two years.

"Beto/Gillum 2020," Philipps tweeted referring to Democrat Andrew Gillum who was defeated on Tuesday by Republican Ron DeSantis in the battle to be Florida’s next governor.

O'Rourke may well be a candidate in 2020--but last night should give him and his party pause about relying too much on celebrities.

  

  

 

 

 

 



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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