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Dems 2020: Sanders, Warren score biggest celebrity endorsements

Megan Henney

Hollywood celebrities are flocking to support Democratic presidential candidates, but progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have clinched some of the most high-profile endorsements so far in the 2020 campaign cycle.

If the presidential election were decided by the sheer volume and star power of celebrity endorsements, Sanders would certainly be victorious. The Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist dominated the Democratic field when it came to celebrity endorsements, snagging support from some of the biggest stars right now, like Ariana Grande, Cardi B and Lizzo, as well as “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo.

Other backers of Sanders, whose anti-establishment campaign champions economic equality, include model Emily Ratajkowski and actors Jack Nicholson, Shailene Woodley, Danny DeVito, Justin Long and Chloë Sevigny, Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover.

In mid-January, Glover toured rural communities in South Carolina on behalf of Sanders, touting the presidential hopeful’s vision of a political and economic revolution. According to the New York Times, Glover also described him as the 2020 embodiment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s political ideology.

“If Dr. King was with us today, at 90 years old last year, he would be voting for Bernie Sanders,” Glover told the crowd.

Sanders is in second place nationally, according to an aggregate of polls from RealClearPolitics, and is in first place in New Hampshire, the second state to cast their ballots in the Democratic nominating contest.


Warren also received some backing from Hollywood A-listers, namely Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, as well as World Cup star Megan Rapinoe. Scarlett Johansson and “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness also threw their star squarely behind Warren. Like Sanders, Warren has vowed to make sweeping changes to the economic system, in large part by placing new taxes on Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy.

Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang has also scored an eclectic group of celebrity endorsers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out an endorsement of Yang in August, and comedian Dave Chappelle threw his support behind Yang in mid-January. Other celebs to endorse Yang include Netflix heartthrob Noah Centineo, Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino), Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Nicolas Cage.

Pete Buttigieg, who experienced a meteoric rise from the mayor of the fourth-largest town in Indiana to a serious contender vying to unseat President Trump next year, has garnered a slew of endorsements from high-profile actors George Takei, Mandy Moore, Kevin Costner and Seth McFarlane. Gwyneth Paltrow has also been a vocal supporter of Buttigieg.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s been a consistent frontrunner throughout the primary season, has opted for lesser-known celebrity surrogates whose star power may have faded over the years, like Olympian Michelle Kwan and former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Although the 2020 candidates proudly announce the celebrity endorsements when they land them, it’s unclear what effect -- if any -- star power could have on the outcome. In 2016, a slew of Hollywood celebrities endorsed Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, who lost.

The Iowa caucuses, where Biden is the frontrunner, kick off the nominating process on Feb. 3.


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