Who is endorsing the GOP presidential candidates
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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
Two new political endorsements of Republican presidential candidates made national headlines in recent days: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. secured the endorsement of the Boston Globe on Thursday, one day after Sen. John McCain endorsed Mitt Romney. The Globe endorsement feels like a big deal for Huntsman, who trails in the polls and faces a make-or-break proposition in the form of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. But for Romney, McCain's blessing was just the latest in a long line of high-profile endorsements that is unparalleled among his fellow GOP candidates. "Hoping to bolster credibility and build political muscle, Republican presidential contenders have jockeyed for months to woo governors and congressional lawmakers, state senators and county sheriffs, newspaper editorial boards and tea party activists," the Associated Press reported last week. "The game has been dominated so far by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who appears to have captured more endorsements than the rest of the field combined." In a broader sense, though, the Globe and McCain endorsements provide entree to a much larger issue: How much do political endorsements really matter in the first place? To be sure, some voters may put a lot of stock in a political endorsement. But, especially when the people doing the endorsing are fellow politicians, it is sometimes difficult to measure any discernable bump in the polls arising from a particular endorsement. For example, a 2007 New York Times article quoted Rutgers University political scientist and congressional expert Ross K. Baker as saying, "The political value of an endorsement by a member of Congress is only slightly more useful than an endorsement by a candidate’s mother. People who run from Washington have an inflated view of the importance of the people they deal with in Washington. … It marks you as an insider." Some endorsements do seem to matter in certain areas, as the following list shows. What follows are illustrative examples of the endorsements secured by the six remaining Republican candidates.
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