If it was a film, it might be titled, “Donald vs. The Megabucks Moguls.”
Ever since the election of President Donald Trump, award shows and Twitter feeds of Hollywood celebrities have been filled with political attacks against Trump. The sound and fury redoubled during the weeks of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and remain focused on the upcoming midterm elections in which continued Republican control of Congress is at stake.
A Hollywood Reporter analysis of political giving for the 2018 midterm election cycle showed that almost all the donations — 99.7 percent — went to Democrats and groups affiliated with them.
In sifting through about $4 million worth of donations logged by the Federal Elections Commission, the outlet came up with only three names on its list of top Hollywood power brokers who donated on the Republican side.
Democrats received $1 million from HBO host Bill Maher, $500,000 from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and $100,000 each from Endeavor Talent Agency executives Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell.
The best the GOP could do was $5,000 to Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins from “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels; $2,000 each to Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her Senate campaign and to the National Republican Congressional Committee from WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey and a $2,500 donation from Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, who donated $1,500 to Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and $1,000 to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Money is one thing. Votes are another. Itay Hod, who writes for TheWrap, spoke to Fox News about what celebrities can and cannot accomplish.
“Think of 2007, when Oprah Winfrey hosted Obama at her estate. A-listers like Will Smith turned up, and the event raised several millions of dollars. That sent a signal that Obama was a serious candidate, even though he wasn’t the most experienced politician,” Hod said.
But if celebrities can lead voters to candidates, they cannot make them vote for them.
“If they did, Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016 by a landslide,” Hod said, noting that his own research in 2016 showed Clinton was the overwhelming celebrity favorite.’
The now-infamous producer Harvey Weinstein, of course, was one of Clinton’s biggest supporters.
— WMG (@bstalkerbynatur) October 8, 2018
Other agreed that a celebrity blitz does not translate into victory.
“Didn’t Hillary just colossally overdo it?” Ed Rogers, a GOP consultant said, according to The Hill. “(The Clinton campaign) thought they could get some derivative energy by associating with celebrities.”
“Celebrities just don’t fill a political spot in most voters’ minds,” Rogers said. “They are not good political messengers. They’re predictable. They don’t just preach to the choir, they kind of rant to the choir.”
Some of that dance has been acted out recently in Tennessee.
Last weekend, pop star Taylor Swift went on a very rare political rant, telling her fans to oppose Blackburn. As reported by Fox News, this was followed by a major spike in voter registrations in Tennessee, seeming to indicate Swift’s clout.
However, by the end of the week, The New York Times reported that Blackburn was leading Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen by 14 points.
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