Mitt Romney had Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention. On Friday, October 5th, President Barack Obama got support from Jon Bon Jovi in Iowa City, Iowa.
Hundreds of people attended the performance in Hubbard Park. Jon Bon Jovi is one of several celebrities supported Obama’s re-election campaign. He joins Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, even Earth, Wind, and Fire.
But can something as simple as hearing a voice turn into a vote?
“It kind of sends out a message,” says Kyle Prieboy, a Graduate Student at the University of Iowa. “Since not a lot of people get to meet the President and people are such big fans of celebrities, I think it kind of opens people’s eyes.”
“I think it just makes you get pumped up and want to do something,” says Helen Gray, who drove from Mount Vernon, Iowa for the performance.
Studies have been done on the importance of celebrity endorsements. One called The Oprah Effect found that Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Obama in 2008 equaled 1,000,000 votes.
“I love when celebrities are able to come out and display their beliefs and values and what they think,” says Ashley Dorris, a resident of Iowa City.
“They are people just like we are and they have their views the same as we do,” says Gray.
Then, there’s the goal to grab young voters. Votes in the 18-24 age demographic increase 8% from the 2004 to the 2008 election.
“That’s really when I got involved and I think a lot of students really got involved with that campaign,” says Casey O’Brien.
Jon Bon Jovi performed in Des Moines after his appearance in Iowa City.