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Jennifer Lawrence vs. Donald Trump: Do celebrity endorsements matter?

Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities have criticized Trump, who is slipping in the polls. Meanwhile, Democrats have the most celebrity endorsements.

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    Jennifer Lawrence attends the press line for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' on day 1 of Comic-Con International, July 9, 2015, in San Diego.
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Look, we’re not saying it’s not a coincidence, but right after Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence threw some serious shade at Donald Trump on Thursday, a new poll reported that the GOP presidential candidate is no longer in the lead.

“If Donald Trump becomes president, that will be the end of the world,” the 25-year-old actress told Entertainment Weekly at an event promoting the final film in the Hunger Games franchise.

“I genuinely believe that reality television has reached the ultimate place where now even things like [Trump's presidential bid] might just be for entertainment,” she said. “It’s either that or it’s Hillary’s brilliant idea.”

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Ms. Lawrence might be the most important A-list celebrity to speak out against Mr. Trump, who, at least for a while, amused even some of Hollywood's most liberal — namely, Owen Wilson, Bryan Cranston, and Robert Redford, reports The Daily Beast.

Trump, of course, was quick to exploit those stars' backhanded compliments, including Mr. Redford's "I’m glad [Trump’s] in there because him being the way he is, and saying what he says the way he says it, I think he shakes things up and I think that’s very needed," which he said to Larry King.

"Hollywood isn’t abandoning me. They’ve been really good," Trump said at a July party for his conservative friends in show biz. "I think the liberals in Hollywood support me behind my back."

Not anymore.

A fleet of celebrities are taking their gloves off, holding nothing back against the former reality star and real estate mogul. At the Emmy Awards in September, Trump was the butt of several jokes. When Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award for best actress, she said, "What a great honor it must be for you to honor me tonight," then adding, "Sorry, Donald Trump said that. It’s getting trickier and trickier to satirize this stuff."

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In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, Matt Damon, the unofficial poster child of liberal celebrity endorsement, slammed the Republican candidate for his Mexican-US wall idea.

"When people are talking about putting a wall up, I just can’t take them seriously. I can’t. It seems so un-American," said Mr. Damon. "We have people running for the highest elected office talking about putting a wall up that would keep my [Argentina-born] wife and her family out of the country, you know?"

The Donald's gilded shine is fading for the general population, as well. The latest IBD/TIPP poll shows that Trump has fallen second to Ben Carson, who is seven points ahead with 24 percent of GOP support. Other polls show his gradual decline since the second GOP debate. While the average of several national polls still lists Trump as the frontrunner, his numbers have declined sharply: 30.5 percent in mid-September to 23.3 percent by October.

His cheerleaders in Hollywood – or rather, lack thereof – are a symptom of his decline, not its cause, but they do beg the question that comes up every election cycle: Do celebrity endorsements matter?

In short, almost never.

One exception might be Oprah, the megastar whose endorsement of Barack Obama significantly increased her magazine subscribers' odds of voting for him, according to researchers at Northwestern.

But she's an outlier. Another study discovered that not only are young voters not swayed by celebrity endorsements, but too much star support can make a candidate less attractive.

Despite the evidence, celebrities loudly proclaim their political allegiances, while politicians – not just Trump – happily reap the love.

Two weeks ago, Bernie Sanders rolled out an impressive list of celebrity endorsements boasting 128 "Artists for Bernie," including Will Farrell, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Piven, and the entirety of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Impressive, but not quite as good as Hillary Clinton’s list, which is graced by Beyoncé, Arianna Grande, Kerry Washington, Snoop Dogg, Kim Kardashian, and Magic Johnson, among others.

In the meantime, Lawrence hasn't said who she will vote for. But despite her opposition to Trump, she admitted to following his campaign. 

"I was watching him on the campaign trail and one guy said, 'I love Donald Trump because he’s saying everything I’m thinking and I just can’t say it because of the PC factor,' " she recalled. "And I’m thinking, 'You are absolutely right. That’s who I want representing my country, somebody politically incorrect. That will just be perfect.' "

 
 
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