What good are they for voters?
When a political candidate tells you he’s endorsed by an organization, company, or other political figure, they’re staking a claim to legitimacy. The more endorsements a candidate has, the more popular they appear, luring in the “bandwagon” vote.
Here at ClarkCounty.info, we will break down endorsements and demonstrate their irrelevance.
So what is the motivation for an organization, company, or other political figure to endorse a candidate? Endorsements are generally driven by:
- Narrow self-interest: What is good for the organization or the personal ideology of the leadership of the organization or company?
- Who will win: The endorsement may be based on the knowledge a particular politician will likely win and the endorsing organization or company wants to be on the right side of events so they may have some access to the politician. Even if the endorsing organization likes the other political candidate better.
- Fear of the opponent: This factor may result in endorsements for candidates who are deficient in many ways, merely to try to sway votes away from a candidate whose policies are at odds with the interests of the endorser. This effect has been very pronounced in the local 2015-2016 campaign season.
- Pay off: Most endorsements by political figures are primarily influenced by some ‘behind-the-curtain’ deal or other political self-interest calculation.
Considering the four drivers above, one can readily see political endorsements should be presumed to have little alignment with the legitimate interests of the average voter. Consider a typical endorsement by a labor union. A union’s sole motivation in endorsing a candidate is to perpetuate the power and influence of the union and its leadership. Worse, the union leaders are almost always culturally liberal and their agenda is usually full of left-wing activism that usually has nothing to do with the relevant interests of the union members. This endorsement has no relevance to average citizens.
ClarkCounty.info will regularly point out the speciousness of political endorsements and the real agenda behind the endorsers. More importantly we encourage voters to spend some time looking into the candidates and their history to further reduce any dependence on endorsements (see: Politician Quality).