When candidates drop out of the Presidential race, they oftenendorse other candidates. When Carol Mosley Braun left the race,she endorsed then front-runner Howard Dean. Recently, when the Rev.Al Sharpton dropped out of the race, he endorsed Sen. John Kerry (DMass). Gen. Wesley Clark also endorsed Kerry.
When a candidate endorses another candidate,they are essentially asking their constituents to vote for theendorsee. Now that all the Black candidates are out of therace, are black voters swayed by the former candidate’sendorsements?
Although, it has become expected forcandidates to endorse others, many students don’t feel thatendorsing influences votes.
“My belief is not to be influenced by acandidates’ endorsement. Use your own reason to determine whoshould have your vote,” said Tiffany Blackwell, apolitical science major at HowardUniversity.
Freshman, Leroy Huchington agrees, “Iwouldn’t let Al Sharpton pick a candidate for me. Voters need to be more informed.”
Not only does endorsing influence voters,political annalists believe pop culture plays a huge role ininfluencing voters. In a Washington Post article Howard Kurtzwrites, “…the musings of Leno, David Letterman, JonStewart and Conan O’Brien may have as much to do with shaping thecandidates’ public personas as a ton of newspaper stories, magazinefeatures and cable arguments. Plus, not everyone watchesRather, Brokaw, Jennings and Lehrer.”
Huchington admitted to being influenced by popculture. “I watch Conan [O’ Brien]. The jokes are funnyand they make Bush look like an idiot. Who wants to vote for anidiot? I won’t.”
Caress Sowen, a sophomore political sciencemajor at HowardUniversity said, “Students don’t careabout polls, debates or the news, but they let Jay Leno or theirfriends pick who they are going to vote for. Personally, as apoly sci major I have to pay attention to the news. I wish morestudents did. The bottom line is students need to make up their ownminds.”