Who’s for Whom? The Ins and Outs of the Presidential Campaign Endorsement List

Matthew Fay ’18 – Inside Politics

As Super Tuesday approaches, along with coveted delegates, candidates rush to make a final impression on the nation.  Town Halls, rallies, interviews, debates and more are organized to stir public interest in a campaign.  While these events are crucial in the campaigning process, how many times do the American people need to hear the same promises from different candidates?  As the debates get personal, the rallies get repetitive, and the attack ads get hostile, what should the American people turn to as a source of guidance and wisdom?  The political endorsements from well-respected politicians, former or current, prove to be a highly reliable sign of direction for undecided voters.  The time frame when endorsements are given, often referred to as the “invisible primary”, is generally one of the strongest indicators of a candidate’s eventual success in the primary and general elections.

On March 1st, thirteen states will either hold primaries or a caucus to determine the states top choice for each party’s nomination.  On Tuesday, 595 Republican delegates, nearly 25% of the total delegates are at stake; 1,004 of the 2,383 needed Democrat delegates are up for grabs.  For this reason, candidates are quickly pushing for endorsements from the most highly respected officials; lets examine some of the notable endorsements that may impact the March 1st primaries for the five leading candidates.


Donald Trump:

Donald Trump has gained only a few notable endorsements that will impact the vote of citizens voting on Super Tuesday.  From Alabama he has gained support from current State Representatives Ed Henry and Jim Carns.  From Alaska, former Governor and 2008 Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has endorsed him.  In Georgia, current Senators Burt Jones and Michael Williams have backed Mr. Trump.


Ted Cruz:

Ted Cruz is enjoying the support of the anti-government Republican politicians he identifies with.  He is polling well in his home state of Texas and is looking for further endorsements so he is able to beat out Donald Trump.  Current and former Texas and Guam Governors Greg Abbot, Eddie Calvo, and Rick Perry currently have endorsed him.  He has twenty-nine endorsements from current and former U.S. Representatives, eight of which are from Texas.  He has eight endorsements each, from the Minnesota and Georgia State Legislature, and holds seven current endorsements from Georgia Senators.


Marco Rubio:

Marco Rubio has been making headlines recently for gaining the endorsements of notable GOP names.  He currently leads the party with four Governors, thirteen Senators and forty-five Representatives endorsing his campaign, more than double of what the next candidate has in each category.  He is struggling to gain support from any Texan politician, but has focused on states such as Florida, Georgia and Alabama, where a majority of his support comes from state legislatures.


Hilary Clinton:

Hilary Clinton has dominated both the Republican and Democratic Parties in gaining endorsements.  She has tripled the remaining candidates in Governor, Representative, and Senators endorsements respectively.  She has the backing of twelve state governors, often seen as the most promising indicator.  Four of these endorsements are from states holding their primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday.  However, an interesting factor in Hilary Clinton’s high number of endorsements is only three have come within the past two weeks. This is an indicator that politicians are no longer racing to support Mrs. Clinton as the election nears.


Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders has struggled to compete with Hilary Clinton when it comes to endorsements, however, the basis of his campaign is not to rely just on this fact.  Even with a lack of official endorsements, he has garnered a tremendous amount of support from Senate and Representatives from Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.  He will struggle to pick up endorsements going forward due the fact that a large number of democratic super delegates have already pledged their support to the Clinton Campaign.


Therefore, it will be interesting to see if the endorsements these five candidates have received from prominent politicians in each of the Super Tuesday states will be enough to persuade voters to follow their lead.  The only thing to do now is sit back and watch the politics play out!