Guided by the stars

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A startling new survey from MediaVest USA, part of Publicis Groupe, reveals that celebrities will have a huge influence on young people's votes. The news is significant given another of the findings: that young people are planning to turn out and vote in much bigger numbers than in 2000.

According to the survey, 40% of 18-24s say that celebrities' support of political candidates will influence who they vote for; that compares to 14.6% for all voting age adults.

"Celebrity endorsement is extremely powerful among young demographics, but marketers have to make sure the message is clear," said Mary-Ellen Vincent, senior VP-director of insights and accountability, MediaVest USA.

Indeed, the survey found confusion among young people about who supports whom. Many respondents either didn't know or guessed wrongly about two big Democratic supporters, Barbra Streisand and Leonardo DiCaprio: 25% think Ms. Streisand is a Republican, while 22% thought the same about Mr. DiCaprio.

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