Are you a Chuck Norris or a Kid Rock kind of voter? What about Duck Dynasty?
As the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up, conservative celebrities are lining up to bestow their coveted endorsements. While Democrats typically clean up when it comes to Hollywood, the celebrity surrogate is a rare breed on the right and one that helps humanize candidates, particularly in a party that has historically struggled to attract young people.
Celebrity endorsements don’t decide elections, but sometimes they’re good for a much-needed boost. Here’s a look at who we might see hitting the trail with their Republican candidate of choice this year.
1.) Chuck Norris, an actor and martial artist who is a cult favorite on the right, said Tuesday that he would once again support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who announced his candidacy for president hours later. “I still believe Mike Huckabee is the most qualified,” Norris told The New York Times. “He has the moral clarity and experience to lead our great country forward.”
Norris fought for Huckabee in 2008, hitting the trail with the conservative, and a spokesman for the 75-year-old actor said he was prepared to help again. “Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse, he tells America how it’s going to be,” Huckabee jokingly brags in a video of the pair.
2.) Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame has endorsed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for president, though the governor is expected to hold off announcing his 2016 bid until June.
“Bobby is a great man, he’s a godly man,” the outdoorsman and TV personality said in April. “If he chooses to go on, I know the values he has. I’m the kind of guy who likes really smart people … and that guy’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.”
Jindal – who vocally defended the “Duck Dynasty” television show after patriarch Phil Robertson’s homophobic remarks were published in GQ magazine – has also joked that Robertson would be a good running mate.
3.) Kelly Clarkson, Vince Vaughn and John Mayer all supported libertarian Ron Paul – dubbed the “Republican King of Celebrity Endorsements” by conservative blog Breitbart – when the former congressman ran for president in 2012. Will his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, take up the crown in 2016? At least one of dad’s former supporters is on board.
“I have gotten to know Rand through Ron and I have found him to be very consistent on a lot of the issues where liberty is concerned, and liked him very much,” Vaughn told students at UCLA in April. “He is the candidate that is currently running that I am most sort of aligned with in sort of his thoughts and philosophies.”
4.) Kid Rock vocally supported Mitt Romney in the last presidential election, but in June 2013, he told Fox News his early presidential pick is retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who announced his candidacy for president on Monday.
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“I like the Herman Ca – uh, no, the black guy – Ben Carson!” Kid Rock said. “I like hearing him speak, his views on political correctness, some of those everyday things.”
5.) Charles Barkley, the NBA Hall-of-Famer, said in February he’s considering switching teams and voting for the GOP this election.
“I have always voted Democratic. But I like some of the Republicans this time around. I like Chris Christie. I like Jeb Bush. I like those guys,” he told Sports Illustrated.
Neither have officially declared their candidacy for president, but both are expected to do so in the coming months.
6.) Scott Baio – known for playing Chachi on “Happy Days” – voiced his support in March for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with a tweet comparing him to former president and GOP patron saint Ronald Reagan.
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7.) Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of “19 Kids and Counting” fame have also jumped aboard team Huckabee. While the family threw their support behind former Sen. Rick Santorum in 2012, they’ve made it quite clear they’re supporting Huckabee this time around – just as they did in 2008, when they had just 17 kids.