Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Now that the presidential primary field appears to be set, candidates will turn to power players, friends and celebrities, hoping to solicit glowing words that will give them a leg up on their competition.
But which celebrities do candidates covet most for their endorsements?
A reported 46 percent of the Journal’s insiders named Norris, whose endorsement of Mike Huckabee in the 2008 GOP primaries boosted the former Arkansas governor’s campaign, as a welcome fighter in a Republican candidate’s corner.
“We are the ‘daddy party’ and the Dems are the ‘mommy party,’” commented one Journal insider. “No one makes that more apparent than Chuck.”
The top Democrat celebrity, named by 84 percent of Democrat insiders, is Oprah Winfrey.
One Insider reportedly said she “brings women and credibility; she is a verifier that says you’re real.”
The National Journal poll asked insiders each to name three top celebrities who were “most effective at raising funds and bringing voters,” thus enabling the percentages to add up to more than 100 percent.
Rounding out the most coveted endorsements for Republicans are the following:
Chuck Norris, named by 46 percent of insiders
Actor Gary Sinise, 43 percent
Country singer Toby Keith, 37 percent
Singer Lee Greenwood, 27 percent
Actress Bo Derek, 25 percent
Τhe top endorsements for Democrats were the following:
Oprah Winfrey, 86 percent
Singer Bruce Springsteen, 77 percent
Comedian Jon Stewart, 50 percent
Singer Cheryl Crow, 18 percent
Rapper Jay-Z, 15 percent
The National Journal Political Insiders Poll is a regular survey of over 200 political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants and lobbyists in both parties.
During the last presidential election season, as WND reported, Norris also made a list of movers and shakers, ranked No. 71 on the London Telegraph’s list of most influencial conservatives, celebrity or not. Norris’ ranking was actually higher than such notables as Ann Coulter (84), Pat Buchanan (80) and Bill O’Reilly (82).