San Diego Decides by Voice of San Diego

San Diego Decides is Voice of San Diego’s elections podcast. Hosts Sara Libby and Ry Rivard break down individual races and ballot measures San Diegans will weigh in on this year, as well bigger issues like the mechanics of voting, state-level drama and more.
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San Diego Decides by Voice of San Diego

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Mar 3, 2016

What role do endorsements play in politics? Is it just a lot of back-slapping among friends and political influencers? Do they really sway voters in any meaningful way? And what is the process that goes on in the background that leads to an organization or individual endorsing a political candidate?

These are just some of the questions that we’re exploring on this, the first episode of Voice of San Diego’s new podcast, San Diego Decides. Throughout this podcast, we’ll be digging into all kinds of different aspects of the 2016 San Diego election. This episode is bringing you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about endorsements in a political election.

There are certain times when an endorsement is, in fact, an overwhelming factor, particularly when the general voting population is not especially up to date on the issues or the candidates, or when candidates have very similar voting records. Other times, endorsements are little more than announcements that go straight into trash folder of your email inbox.

Sara and Ry also reveal whose endorsements they’d seek out if they were running for office in San Diego, and Brian Pepin, the new president of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, comes on to discuss his group’s process for deciding whom to endorse.

This Week’s Favorite Things

Sara Libby: The state of Oregon passed a “Motor Voter” law, and has signed up more than 10,000 new voters since the start of the year.

Ry Rivard: “Sometimes a Great Notion,” a novel by Ken Kesey.


Bullet Points

  • People will tend to rely more on endorsements when they don’t especially know what’s going on
  • When you really understand what’s going on, endorsements are less important
  • When two people with very similar voting records are running against each other, it’s one of the only ways to differentiate
  • Tony Atkins and Marty Block are a recent example of endorsements playing an important role
  • Lori Saldana, who is running for mayor as an independent, endorsed Bob Filner for mayor a few years ago, but has since revealed that she was aware of his issues with his treatment of women at the time, and had actually warned party leaders about it. She since stated that she didn’t want to bring up the harassment while her father was still alive
  • Endorsements are important to candidates both for the resources that come with them, and in the way that endorsements can sway voters
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