Celebrities in politics have a leg up, but their advantages can’t top fundraising failures
Dr. Oz, Cynthia Nixon, Trump and others utilize social capital for political fundraising
TV personality Mehmet Oz lost his bid for Pennsylvania senator during the November midterms. And former NFL football star Herschel Walker appears to be falling further behind his opponent, incumbent Raphael Warnock, as they head to a Dec. 6, 2022, runoff election for senator in Georgia.
While celebrity political candidates have advantages, like name recognition and media attention, they often lose their bids for public office.
They lose for the same reasons other candidates lose. If they represent the minority party in a one-party-dominated district or state, they lose. If they take unpopular policy positions, they lose. If they are never considered to be serious candidates, they lose.
I am a political science scholar who specializes in American politics. In my recently published book, “Celebrities in American Elections,” I show that celebrity candidates who win the fundraising battle tend to win their elections – and those who fall behind in fundraising tend to lose.