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The Oprah Factor


How much did the talk-show queen help Barack Obama in the primaries?

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw directs us to a new paper by University of Maryland economists Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore, which argues that “Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama prior to the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary generated a statistically and qualitatively significant increase in the number of votes Obama received as well as in the total number of votes cast.” All told, Garthwaite and Moore “estimate that the endorsement was responsible for 1,015,559 votes for Obama.”