Endorsements From Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren Don’t Matter To Most Voters

Elizabeth Warren Ted Cruz

While they are both getting a lot of attention inside their own parties, it appears that endorsements from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Texas Senator Ted Cruz don’t have very much influence on the general public:

The survey asked likely voters in states and districts with the most competitive House and Senate contests this fall to rate how much an endorsement from 10 high-profile political figures split evenly among parties would matter in whether they vote for a candidate.

Obama and the Clintons were essentially tied, with 7 in 10 Democratic respondents saying a nod from any of them would make them more inclined to back the endorsed hopeful. The figure dropped to 52 percent for Vice President Joe Biden and only 27 percent for Warren. (Sixteen percent said Warren’s support would make them less likely to support a candidate.)

The findings are at least in part a function of name ID: Despite the crush of media attention the Massachusetts senator has received, 1 in 5 Democrats likely to vote in a competitive House or Senate election this fall — and 22 percent of voters overall — said they had “never heard of” Warren.

Among Republican voters, 53 percent said Romney’s support would make them more likely to vote for a candidate. Behind him was Bush at 47 percent, and nearly tied was Paul, whom 46 percent of Republicans said would affect them positively. The latter figure is striking as the Kentucky senator tries to demonstrate he can win his party’s nomination despite views on foreign policy that make some donors and centrists uneasy.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, trying to move past the traffic scandal that has damaged his national prospects, would make 32 percent of Republicans more likely to back a candidate he endorsed. Nearly a quarter of Republican voters said Christie’s nod would make them less likely to back his chosen candidate.

In the case of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who advocated a government shutdown last year over changes to Obamacare, 30 percent of Republicans said he would have a positive influence on their decision, while 15 percent said he would be a negative. Fourteen percent of likely Republican voters said they’d never heard of Cruz.

As noted, a great deal of this is due to name recognition no doubt, but these poll results do tend to pour some cold water on the arguments advanced by pundits about how people like Warren and Cruz are increasing their relevance with all of these endorsements. Both of them likely do a very good job at bringing out the base of their respective parties, and there is assuredly something important about that, but that is far different from what impact they are having in the middle of the electorate where these elections are decided.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    While they are both getting a lot of attention inside their own parties, it appears that endorsements from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Texas Senator Ted Cruz don’t have very much influence on the general public:

    I have always wondered about the effect or influence of endorsements regarding voter preferences, especially in high profile issue or candidate elections.

    I try to be informed on candidates and issues and I usually completely ignore newspaper editorial endorsements. Endorsements by one politician for another? Same thing, if I’m informed I really don’t care what one politician says about another. In fact, it’s usually the negative that causes me to take notice. For example if Ted Cruz says that John Cornyn is a communist-sympathizer, and that he’s endorsing Louie Gohmert, there is a chance I might actually vote for Cornyn.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The difference these people make is in fund raising. I think actual politicians recognize this.

  3. CSK says:


    I doubt Cruz believes that Cornyn is a communist sympathizer. But if it benefited Cruz to say so, he certainly would.

  4. Pinky says:

    Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren just don’t carry the weight of a David Jolly. 🙂