The Fix: endorsement hierarchy

Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and the Fix endorsement hierarchy

Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and the Fix endorsement hierarchy

Immediately after the news broke this morning that former Florida governor Jeb Bush had decided to get off the presidential sidelines and endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney , the political world wondered just one thing: Where does this fit in the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy?

Never fear, political world. (Sidebar: “Political World” is an underrated Bob Dylan tune.) We have your answer.

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Donald Trump and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Our long national nightmare is officially over, as Donald Trump has picked a candidate in the 2012 presidential race, thereby ending his long, long flirtation with his own presidential bid (one would assume).

Fix colleagues Rachel Weiner and Philip Rucker report that Trump will back Mitt Romney Thursday in a Las Vegas press conference at 3:30 p.m. eastern time.

But just what kind of endorsement is this?

To answer that question, we turn once against to the vaunted Fix Endorsement Hierarchy.

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Do endorsements matter? Almost never.

Do endorsements matter? Almost never.

The Fix is fascinated with political endorsements. Heck, we created an entire Endorsement Hierarchy aimed at classifying and ranking the various sorts of endorsements in the political world.

But even as we — and the rest of the politically inclined media — spend hours wondering who might endorse whom and what it all means, we’ve always had a niggling little voice in the back of our mind that squeaked: “Endorsements don’t matter.”

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John McCain, Mitt Romney and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

John McCain, Mitt Romney and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

“I‘m really here for one reason and one reason only and that is to make sure that we make Mitt Romney the next President of the United States.” — Arizona Sen. John McCain in New Hampshire today.

As soon as the news broke — kudos to BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith for breaking it — that McCain would endorse Romney as his preferred candidate in the 2012 presidential race, the political world has been asking just one question: Where does this fit into the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy?

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Play the new 2012 political endorsement game!

Ever think to yourself “I know WAY more about politics than that Fix guy”? Who hasn’t! Well, now’s your chances to prove it.

Today the Post unveils its new 2012 endorsement game where you, gentle Fixista, are tasked with picking which presidential candidate the top 50 potential endorsers will ultimately back. (And, no, former vice president Dan Quayle, who is endorsing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney today in Arizona, didn’t crack the top 50.)

Once you make your picks, you can track your success rate as the various top 50 endorsers jump off the fence and pick a candidate. You can also compare your picks to the Fix’s picks and scoff at our misguidedness (or our remarkable insights).

And, while we’re talking endorsements make sure to check out our Fix Endorsement Hierarchy, which aims to tell you what endorsements matter — and why.

The big six 2012 endorsements

The 2012 endorsement battle is starting to heat up, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney sprinting to an early advantage. Over the weekend, Romney landed the backing of two of the top GOP elected officials in New Hampshire: Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Rep. Charlie Bass.

But while these types of endorsements (known as “state-specific” on The Fix’s handy-dandy Endorsement Hierarchy) can help a candidate, they are rarely more than a single-day story.

Meanwhile, the bigger endorsements — the sort that can say something broader about a candidate and genuinely help him or her over the long haul — are, largely, still up for grabs.

Below, we look at six “symbollic” endorsements that could change the 2012 race, along with who might be able to win the endorsements.

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