Political campaigns

How important are mentions in political campaigns? | Lehigh Valley Regional News

BENSALEM, PA — How important are mentions in political campaigns?

“Campaigns operate on the assumption that they matter a lot,” said Dr. David Barrett, professor of political science at Villanova University. “Evidence based on what political scientists have studied shows that in most cases they matter very little, if at all.”

“It depends on the election,” said Dr. Glenn Ricketts, professor of political science at Raritan Valley Community College. “It depends on the candidate.”​

“At best, they make only a marginal difference,” said Dr. John Kincaid, Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service at Lafayette College. “There are few exceptions.”

Yet you see those seals of approval everywhere.

In the PA’s First Congressional District, incumbent Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick dedicated his entire campaign Twitter feed to them, posting only mentions, last month.

“His main campaign is based on being bipartisan and able to work across party lines, so he wants a broad spectrum,” Dr Kincaid said.

Veteran and Democratic candidate Ashley Ehasz has just won the support of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This is the first time a challenger candidate has been endorsed by the Inquirer in his place,” Ehasz said. “Getting an Inquirer endorsement or a Planned Parenthood endorsement signals to voters that hey, this is someone who fits the values ​​of the district.”

Many political pundits agree whether it’s another politician, a group, a publication or a celebrity, endorsements could mean the most in tight races, when voters may be on the fence or may not know much about who is on the ballot.

“Police organizations when they do an endorsement and they do a message based on, for example, crime rates…it’s fair to say that can have some impact,” Dr Barrett said.

Among endorsers, there’s also this mindset, “if you endorse a candidate and the candidate wins, they’re in a position to ask for favors,” Dr. Ricketts said.

69 News has contacted Fitzpatrick’s campaign and has not received a response at the time of this report.