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Do political endorsements make a difference to everyday voters?

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 21:24:02-04

PHOENIX — This week, voters are starting to decide what candidates they want to represent them.

There are just three weeks before primary day, "Unions endorse progressive candidates. That matters to me, that shows they must have believed in the same ideals that they do," said voter Maico Oliveras.

Oliveras considers candidate endorsements before deciding which one will get his vote.

While endorsements can help get a candidate noticed, it can also get them dismissed. "If it comes from somebody who is credible it means something. If it's not it doesn't mean anything at all to me," says voter Jeff Balumbo.

Stan Barnes is a Republican political strategist and President of Copper State Consulting Group. Barnes believes this year only two endorsements really matter in the Arizona Primary.

Those coming from former President Donald Trump and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, "Most voters in Arizona are feeling inundated with information and don't know how to sort it out," Barnes said because they are living their lives and they don't trust themselves to cull through all the information and make a judgment.

Barnes says, "They are voting with their heart, not their head."

Ducey has endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson for governor. Though not unprecedented, Barnes says it is rare for a sitting governor to take sides in a primary.

Even rarer, Barnes says, is for a former president to endorse not only Kari Lake but candidates down the ballot, which is what Trump is doing in Arizona.

"It is a rare circumstance in Arizona Politics that an incumbent governor is endorsing someone in a primary to replace him. And it's extraordinary that a former president is endorsing not only a gubernatorial candidate for the primary but all the way down the line including State Senate. And his endorsement does matter," Barnes said.

However, we won't find out if either Gov. Ducey or Trump's endorsements have made a difference until after all the votes are counted.

Voter Jim Currin says he still doubts any endorsement, "I'm going for the individual instead of who is backing them."

Currin says, "because somebody is always going to be backing somebody."