Six Celeb Midterm Losers: How Big Money and Star Power Failed Them
Oprah, Beyoncé, Will Ferrell and others proved just how little their political endorsements actually meant
Celebrities tried as hard as they could to to create a massive blue tidal wave in the midterms to stop President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.
It didn’t quite work out for everybody.
Though some celebrities literally hit the pavement and lost fans over their decision to go all-out political, many Democrats with the backing of Hollywood ended up losing on election night.
Here is a look at six celebrities who came up short in their midterm efforts to make a difference.
1.) Taylor Swift. No celebrity looks worse after the midterms than Taylor Swift. The singer had gained some respect from many fans for being one of the few modern successful artists to keep out of politics.
That all changed when she endorsed former Tennessee congressional candidate Phil Bredesen.
Swift’s endorsement shocked fans — but it did little good for Bredesen.
Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn defeated him in a race that was called early compared to others, proving Tennessee really doesn’t care who Taylor Swift might vote for or what she says.
In her Instagram post endorsing Bredesen, Swift said Blackburn “appalls and terrifies” her.
2.) Oprah Winfrey and 3.) Will Ferrell. Winfrey is apparently not the media mogul she once was. Her endorsement of Barack Obama when he was first running for president was arguably what gave the man a surge in support and national recognition, but Winfrey’s endorsements don’t mean much anymore.
She went door-to-door for former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and campaigned hard for her in the week leading up to the midterms.
Winfrey wasn’t the only one, either. Obama himself also showed up and campaigned — while comedic actor Will Ferrell went door-to-door to pitch Abrams to the people of Georgia.
None of it really worked. As of Wednesday morning, the Georgia race is still close too call; Abrams is refusing to concede even as Republican Brian Kemp is shown to be in the lead and 100 percent of precincts have reported.
4.) Dave Chappelle. The comedian did his best. Video surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday that showed him cold-calling Maryland voters to vote for former gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, a Democrat.
Chappelle also talked to citizens at their doors with Jealous over the weekend and was seen in one video carrying a woman’s groceries for her.
Chappelle is a native of Maryland and has said he has a personal relationship to Jealous, who lost his race to Republican Larry Hogan.
5.) Rihanna. The “Umbrella” singer and “Ocean’s Eight” star — who recently served President Donald Trump with a cease-and-desist letter because he allegedly plays her music at his rallies — endorsed Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
Gillum ended up losing his race to Republican Ron DeSantis.
“The U.S. has only had four black governors in its entire history, and we can help make #AndrewGillum the next one and Florida’s first!” wrote the musician on Instagram when she endorsed Gillum.
“If you’re tired of feeling like you don’t matter in the political process, know the most important thing you can do in supporting a candidate is finding someone who will take on critical issues such as: making minimum wage a livable wage, paying teachers what their worth, ensuring criminal justice reform, making healthcare a right, and repealing Stand Your Ground. That’s a platform we MUST support.”
6.) Beyoncé. The singer’s endorsement meant nothing to former Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke.
The Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Ted Cruz for his seat raked in millions from Hollywood, but it still didn’t seem to be enough — so Beyonce swooped in and made a last minute endorsement with only hours left for people to vote.
“I’m feeling grateful for everyone before me who fought so hard to give us all the right to have a voice,” the singer wrote in an Instagram post.
She continued, “We can’t voice our frustrations and complain about what’s wrong without voting and exercising our power to make it right. We need you. We all need each other, because when we are truly united we are unstoppable. Sending you all love and positivity on this happy voting day! Every vote counts. Every race matters. Everywhere.”
Texas voters really didn’t care about the last-minute support from Hollywood — because they chose to keep Ted Cruz in his seat in the Senate.