Scarlett Johansson and Chuck Norris: Political Power Players?

Scarlett Johansson and Chuck Norris: Political Power Players?
Peter Carroll with Scarlett Johansson

updated 01/04/2008 at 10:00 AM EST

originally published 01/04/2008 10:00AM

She's a sexy Hollywood starlet. He's an aging martial arts star. So what do Scarlett Johansson and Chuck Norris have in common? They both backed winners in Thursday's Iowa caucuses.

Yes, with a little help from their celebrity fans, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee emerged victorious in Iowa's pivotal, first-in-the-nation caucuses.

While Norris, 67, stumped for – and sparred with – Huckabee in mid-December, the 23-year-old Johansson was by Obama's side in the home stretch, speaking to a small group of high school and college-aged "Barack Stars" at a rally in Coralville, Iowa, on Tuesday.

"She actually seemed a little shy when she first started speaking," audience member Jason Millsap told PEOPLE. "But [she] warmed up to the crowd, who were eager to ask questions. . . . It was pretty exciting and inspiration to see someone as big as her come and talk to her peers."

"She was asked a question as to why she chose to support Obama and answered it very well in my opinion," added high schooler Peter Caroll, another caucus-goer. "She [explained] how she did research him and found Obama to be [passionate about] most of the issues she deemed important."

Young voters, like Johansson and her fellow Barack Stars, may have been a key to Obama's victory over John Edwards, who came in second, and Hillary Clinton, who finished third. According to CNN's analysis of entrance polls, Obama took 57 percent of the under-30 vote.

Next up for all the White House hopefuls? Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

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