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How National Journal's Political Insiders Rate the Celebrities How National Journal's Political Insiders Rate the Celebrities

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Political Insiders Poll

How National Journal's Political Insiders Rate the Celebrities

Which three celebrities are the most effective campaigners for Democratic/Republican candidates?

DEMOCRATS (101 votes) / REPUBLICANS (99 votes)

Oprah Winfrey: 84.2% (Democrat)


Bruce Springsteen: 77.2% (Democrat)

Jon Stewart: 49.5% (Democrat)

Sheryl Crow: 17.8% (Democrat)


Jay-Z: 14.9% (Democrat)

Matt Damon: 10.9% (Democrat)

Ben Affleck: 9.9% (Democrat)

Susan Sarandon: 7.9% (Democrat)


John Legend: 5.9% (Democrat)

None: 3.0% (Democrat) / 8.1% (Republican)

Chuck Norris: 45.5% (Republican)

Gary Sinise: 43.4% (Republican)

Toby Keith: 37.4% (Republican)

Lee Greenwood: 27.3% (Republican)

Bo Derek: 25.3% (Republican)

Hank Williams Jr.: 24.2% (Republican)

Jon Voight: 20.2% (Republican)

Kelsey Grammer: 20.2% (Republican)

John Rich: 7.1% (Republican)

Charlton Heston: 1.0% (Republican)



Winfrey: “Even if I’ve only ever seen her involved in one campaign, she delivered for Obama.”

Winfrey: “Brings women and credibility; she is a verifier.”

Springsteen: “Idol for boomers and very passionate.”

Springsteen: “Blue-collar rocker does not come across as blindly partisan.”

Stewart: “Captures angst and cynicism of a generation of young voters.”

Stewart: “Put a million people on the Mall; he should run for president.”

Crow: “Damn, she is hot: Music sells fundraising tickets.”

Jay-Z: “Great for getting young voters of all races to the polls.”

Damon: “Is such a magnet that everyone wants their pic taken with him.”

Norris: “Draws a crowd, creates a buzz.”

Norris: “Needs his own Chuck Norris to handle GOP requests for his time.”

Sinise: “His care and concern for veterans is real and long-standing.”

Sinise: “He’s the only one recognizable to anyone under 30!”

Keith: “Iconic songs, wry observations.”

Greenwood: “All he needs to do is sing that patriotic song.”

Derek: “There are still ‘men of a certain age’ who remember that poster.”

Williams: “He does not do much, but he is still the man.”

Voight: “Campaigned for McCain and appeared to know more about the issues than his candidate.”

Grammer: “Great on the fundraising circuit and has depth and understanding of policy issues.”


Which three celebrities are the most effective in advocating for causes in Washington?

DEMOCRATS (100 votes) / REPUBLICANS (98 votes)

AIDS; African development: 83.8%

Michael J. Fox
Stem-cell and other medical research: 76.8%

George Clooney
Darfur: 41.9%

Angelina Jolie
Refugees: 30.3%

Tom Hanks
Environment: 14.1%

Others receiving votes: Don Cheadle (Darfur), 7.1%; Matt Damon (clean water), 6.6%; none (volunteered), 4.5%; Sean Penn (Haiti), 3.0%; Ben Affleck (Democratic Republic of Congo), 2.0%; Wyclef Jean (Haiti), 1.5%; Lance Armstrong (cancer, volunteered), 0.5%;  Lady Gaga (DADT, volunteered), 0.5%.


Bono: “Anyone who could make Jesse Helms cry and then attend a U2 concert is an effective lobbyist.”

Bono: “Seen as substantively serious, in it for the long haul, and above U.S. partisan politics.”

Bono: “He literally put Africa on the map for a generation of D’s and R’s.”

Bono: “Had breakfast with him to discuss AIDS once; my best day in D.C.”

Fox: “Personal struggle makes him more than a mere celebrity on an issue.”

Fox: “Perceived as a good guy fighting a courageous fight.”

Fox: “Unlike the others, he is advocating for an issue that affects him personally and profoundly. It is moving.”

Fox and Wyclef Jean: “They have authenticity.”

This article appears in the April 30, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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