An endorsement by former President Donald Trump helps GOP primary candidates win votes, but there’s an important caveat, according to a recent study.
Trump appears most powerful when he works within the system.
The Echelon Insights analysis from March, which presented likely primary voters with fictional candidates, found that Republicans are 3 percentage points more likely to vote for a Trump-endorsed candidate.
The advantage soars to 29% when candidates are also backed by local GOP leaders, per the study — by far the biggest endorsement effect recorded by the researchers.
- By comparison, an endorsement by President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris is half as helpful for Democratic primary candidates, and media darlings Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. are a net liability.
- IDENTITY POLITICS: Race and gender are important variables, with white men taking a hit among Democrats (-12%) and, to a lesser extent, Republicans (2%).
On one hand, Echelon Insights threw some cold water on the widespread obsession with Trump’s endorsements.
- Not just GOP candidates, but also Republican voters, the news media and Trump himself have treated the former president’s primary picks like massive game-changers.
- But a 3-point boost is more like home court advantage.
On the other hand, the study’s findings were a reminder that endorsements probably aren’t the best way to measure Trump’s star power.
- Trump has remade the GOP in his image, and Republican voters have remained overwhelmingly loyal to him.
- According to a Morning Consult/Politico survey released earlier this month, 53% of GOP voters said they would vote for him as their party’s 2024 presidential nominee.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the runner-up, got 16% support.