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As the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination grows increasingly unpredictable, every boost helps – and candidates are calling in support from the powerful world of film and entertainment.
From Ariana Grande’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders to Pete Buttigieg’s fundraiser with Gwyneth Paltrow, the Hollywood endorsement remains a coveted campaign accolade. And while a recent survey found nine in 10 adults wouldn’t have their vote swayed by a celebrity, the study also found celebrities hold significantly more sway among young voters, a group candidates are eager to reach.
Ahead of the California primary on 3 March, here’s who Hollywood’s famous names have said they’ll vote for.
Bernie Sanders: pulling in major star power
The stars appear aligned for Bernie Sanders, with the candidate receiving more than two dozen endorsements from prominent musicians, actors and athletes.
A roll call of musicians including Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Bon Iver, Willow Smith, Lil Yachty, TI, Zedd, and Noname have voiced their support, while actors including Danny DeVito, Cynthia Nixon, Tessa Thompson, Shailene Woodley, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Jack Nicholson and Justin Long have been feeling the Bern. The comedians John Mulaney, Hasan Minhaj and Jaboukie Young-White, a Daily Show correspondent, are also putting their weight behind the 78-year-old Vermont senator.
Amy Klobuchar: a slow but steady rise
Amy Klobuchar’s Hollywood endorsements have not been as extensive as other candidates’, but they have increased in recent weeks – perhaps reflective of her recent rise in polling. The American Idol season two runner-up Clay Aiken endorsed the former prosecutor in February. The singer, who is gay, announced his support in a USA Today op-ed titled Why I’m Changing My Vote from Joe Biden to Amy Klobuchar, writing: “The Democratic party of 2020 is ready for a fresher voice. Klobuchar is that voice.”
Other celebrities caught in the “Klobmentum” include the Glee actor Jane Lynch and the writer-director Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, Love, Simon, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).
Pete Buttigieg: Some big (white) names
Pete Buttigieg has found big-name support among Hollywood elites such as the actor and Goop CEO Gwyneth Paltrow, who held a fundraiser for the former mayor, the animator Seth MacFarlane and the actor Michael J Fox.
However Buttigieg, whose campaign has struggled to reach black voters, suffered an awkward moment when his campaign announced the support of the comedian Keegan-Michael Key, only to walk it back a few hours later. The two did appear together at an event to encourage voter turnout in Nevada, but the campaign clarified it was not an official endorsement (and it wasn’t the first time the campaign has overstated pledges of support from black leaders).
Other notable names include the 2018 Miss Black America winner, Ryann Richardson; the actor John Stamos; and the Shameless star Emmy Rossum.
Elizabeth Warren: a favorite among Hollywood’s women and LGBTQ+ stars
Elizabeth Warren may have slipped in the polls, but her support from Hollywood has not, and especially within its LGBTQ+ community. The Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has been a vocal supporter of the Massachusetts senator. Van Ness, who discussed his own HIV-positive status in 2019, said Warren’s healthcare plan would greatly benefit those living with the condition. “Healthcare shouldn’t be for profit ever, it’s a human right,” Van Ness wrote in his endorsement. Bobby Berk, another Queer Eye star, has also voiced support for Warren.
Women in Hollywood are also putting their weight behind Warren: Scarlett Johansson, Rosie O’Donnell, Amy Schumer, Patricia Arquette, Busy Phillips, Constance Wu, Amber Tamblyn and Sally Field are standout supporters.
Mike Bloomberg: a dark horse
The late entrant to the race has secured several endorsements, including the fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, who cited Bloomberg’s “support for the LGBTQ” as mayor of New York. The Project Runway host Tim Gunn also has endorsed Bloomberg, even joining the candidate’s LGBTQ+ council.
The actor Ted Danson (The Good Place, Cheers) endorsed Bloomberg in a lengthy Facebook post, voicing his support for Bloomberg’s commitment to curbing climate change. Judge Judy endorsed the candidate in January, praising his moderate policies and criticizing Trump, saying: “Enough damage has been done. My mission is to see that Mike Bloomberg is in the White House for the next four years.”
Joe Biden: not the starriest sky, but a few bright spots
While Biden hasn’t received the same enthusiastic, high-profile support from Hollywood as some other candidates, he does have a few big names behind him. In February, the pop icon Cher said she still supported Biden, despite his disappointing results in Iowa and New Hampshire. “I know and believe in him, even if some think he’s a lost cause,” the singer said during an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Other Biden supporters include the actor Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Amy Pascal, the former chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
February 23, 2020 at 04:39PM André Wheeler