Do Celebrity Endorsements Help or Hurt Presidential Candidates? | NBC Southern California
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Do Celebrity Endorsements Help or Hurt Presidential Candidates?

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    FILE - Rosario Dawson speaks onstage at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City.

    Celebrity surrogates have been ubiquitous on the campaign trail this season, frequently been driving the 2016 news cycle — and in some cases, forcing their preferred candidates off message.

    In a crowded media marketplace, the prominence of a celebrity surrogate can make a difference — at least when it comes to media attention — but unlike most traditional political representatives, they are infamously difficult to control.

    During an appearance on "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday, actress Susan Sarandon, a passionate Bernie Sanders supporter, doubled down on her refusal to say whether or not she would support Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one race against Trump. And unscripted diatribes on Sanders' behalf from stars like Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike and Tim Robbins have begged the question: Are these kinds of endorsements really worth it?