Who Do You Trust? Celebrity Endorsements of Candidates

For the last couple of days I’ve heard a paid advertisement airing on the radio in which Ralph Stanley, bluegrass legend and homegrown celebrity here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, endorses Barack Obama. Even though Stanley is a life-long Democrat, I suppose it surprises me (in a pleasant way) that here in “the Solid South” an eighty year old white moderate Southerner is publicly supporting a black man for president. This endorsement didn’t change the way I intend to vote, because I had already intended to vote for Obama, but I have to think that if I had been an undecided voter or a McCain supporter, I would have had to at least reconsider my position given the respect I have for Stanley and the knowledge that Stanley has many of the same concerns regarding the current issues as I do. Is there any public figure outside of politics or academia who you respect enough that their support for a candidate might convince you to change your vote, and why? If there are any other Southern dopers out there, given what you have heard and seen in your own states, what is your opinion of the chances that Obama might take a couple of heretofore solidly Republican states like Virginia or North Carolina?

I’ve lived in Virginia for 20 years. I doubt McCain has better than a 10% chance to win it. And Nate Silver is even more pessimistic than I am. North Carolina is more of a tossup, mostly because it’s been posting small leads for both sides consistently, but in the end I do think it will vote for Obama.

As for endorsements, I’m firmly decided, and I’m not sure who might move other people.

No way. I respect the opinions of my friends and family and would take their suggestions into account while choosing a candidate, but that’s it. I don’t care who any celebrity votes for.

I think I’d take the anonymous opinions of you strangers on the internet, or let my dog choose a candidate by pooping on a photo, before I’d worry about any celebrity endorsement.