Yes, Diddy can. It’s not an official campaign slogan yet, but according to a new study released today celebrities like Diddy, Beyonce, and Halle Berry actually have persuasive powers to make young adults vote.
“Celebrities have the power to motivate civic engagement regardless of their own grasp of the issues at hand,” says a report conducted by Washington State University and published in the Mass Communication and Society journal.
The study, Reuters reports, is based on a survey done by 305 students at the university. The findings deeply contrast with most polls that claim celebrity endorsements of presidential candidates are unlikely to sway undecided voters in any direction.
Diddy took the initiative within hip-hop during the 2004 presidential election. The Bad Boy mogul founded Vote or Die! and encouraged young adults to register to vote. The study found that initiatives like Vote or Die! resulted in an increase in 2004 voter participation among adults aged 18-25.
Russell Simmon’s Hip-Hop Action Network also held rallies encouraging the youth to vote. This year both gentleman continue their efforts; Diddy by blogging about his political views and Simmons (along with DJ Green Lantern) recently released a mixtape tribute to Democratic Presidential Hopeful, U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
In addition to Diddy and Simmons, T.I. has actively been involved in the election. The rapper has signed on as a spokesperson for the Hip-Hop Caucus. Last month the group attempted to break the record for the largest one-day voter registration drive.—Craig Hume