Politicians seek to leverage celebrities to reach voters

ATLANTA (AP) – Candidates in high-profile races nationwide are using celebrity appearances and endorsements as they try to reach voters.

In Georgia, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda appeared to back Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Oprah Winfrey recorded a video interview with Democratic challenger for governor Stacey Abrams. Republicans in Arizona and Nevada are turning to mixed martial arts figures.

Such endorsements are nothing new, but it’s unclear how much influence they have. Celebrities have also gone directly into politics in 2022. Football legend Herschel Walker is a Republican challenging Warnock, while television host Dr. Mehmet Oz is a Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania.