WATCH: The Power of Celebrity Presidential Endorsements – Plus, Can Pete Rose Really Help Donald Trump Win Ohio?

03/14/2016 AT 04:55 PM EDT

Whether it's Mark Ruffalo feeling the Bern, Caitlyn Jenner putting her faith in Donald Trump or Lena Dunham stumping for Hillary Clinton, a celebrity endorsement can have a significant impact on a presidential campaign – especially when it comes to 2016's crowded Republican field.

Mike Cobb, a political science professor at North Carolina State University who has studied the effect of celebrity political endorsements, tells Vocativ, "If I'm a Republican and I'm voting amongst eight Republicans, my party affiliation doesn't help me pick which one anymore, so how am I gonna choose? A celebrity endorsing one of the candidates if that celebrity is very credible and popular might be effective."

GOP front-runner Trump has won support from the likes of Gary Busey, Hulk Hogan, Tila Tequila and Wayne Newton – celebrities who arguably may not hold much sway over voters. But the real estate mogul just earned a new endorsement – from embattled former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose – that could help him secure an important victory in Ohio.





So why does Rose's endorsement of Trump matter? The 74-year-old, who has been banned from Major League Baseball since 1989 due to a gambling scandal, is still considered a hero by many Ohioans who rooted for him during his glory years as a star player for the Cincinnati Reds.

MSNBC's Adam Howard suggests that the billionaire businessman, who has come to Rose's defense more than once in recent years, "has aligned himself with the hometown hero in the hopes of prying a victory out of the hands of popular Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who narrowly leads him in most polls ahead of Tuesday's winner-take-all GOP primary."

At a campaign rally in Ohio on Sunday, Trump said of Rose, "I watched him and he was a great player. And it's so ridiculous. Don't you think he's paid the price? First of all, he didn't bet … he bet that he would win, not on the other team or anything. Right? But look, he's not supposed to do it, it's a terrible thing, all that stuff. How long has he been waiting like 30 years, 35 years?" Later, Trump added: "We gotta let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame."

The American Spectator blog's Aaron Goldstein said in December that Trump's support for Rose was "good politics" on the GOP hopeful's part.

"If it's Hillary vs. Trump and it comes down to Ohio, it could be going to bat for Pete Rose is what gets Trump into the White House," he wrote.
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