While a wide majority of Democratic voters (69%) say that if Al Gore said he was supporting one of the presidential candidates it would not make any difference to them, the number saying that it would influence them favorably is not insignificant; in a September poll, about one-in-five Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters (21%) said Gore’s endorsement would make them more likely to support a candidate, while just 7% said his endorsement would drive them away. Gore’s influence is most positive among women, whites, and liberals. By a margin of 23% to 5%, women say a Gore endorsement would influence them favorably, compared to a narrower 18% to 11% margin among men. And while white voters say they would be more, not less, likely to back a candidate endorsed by Gore by nearly four-to-one (23% vs. 6%), Gore’s influence among blacks is decidedly mixed (15% say more likely, 13% less likely). The ideological divide among Democrats over a potential Gore endorsement is perhaps the most striking. Among liberal Democrats, 29% say his endorsement would affect them favorably, just 3% negatively. But among conservative Democrats, about the same number say they would be less likely to back a candidate Gore endorsed (16%) as say they would be influenced favorably (15%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.