Mike Bloomberg just released a new campaign ad featuring the most trusted jurist in America. It’s not the Chief Justice, but — for a billionaire candidate who needs to connect with working class voters — someone much better: Judith Sheindlin, known in most homes as TV’s “Judge Judy.”
Celebrity endorsements are a well-worn part of politics, of course, but they typically deliver less than candidates hope for: A quick rush of headlines, maybe, but most voters don’t ultimately make choices based on their favorite television characters.
Sheindlin could be different.
That has a lot to do with her brand of television and how her massive audience — nearly ten million people a day — views her.
The 30-second commercial, titled “Judge Him,” shows Sheindlin sitting in what looks like judicial chambers, advocating for Bloomberg’s “steady leadership” in “very challenging times.” The setting and the atmosphere capitalize on what the former New York family court judge has spent nearly 25 television seasons building: credibility.
Audience studies conducted during my years as a CBS executive working with the “Judge Judy” show consistently ranked her as tough, fair, honest and direct — attributes any politician would die for. Her standing in our wider popular culture runs high: According to a 2013 poll, more Americans trust Judge Judy than any of the Supreme Court justices. A 2016 survey revealed 10 percent of college graduates believe she actually already serves on the highest court in the land.
That comes from the unique place daytime shows like “Judge Judy” have in the media landscape. Unlike actors in a drama or comedy, daytime stars such as Sheindlin, Ellen DeGeneres or Dr. Phil McGraw aren’t playing a role — they are simply themselves on the screen, coming into your home every single day. Viewers feel they get to know them as people, and develop a bond that’s deeper than any other celebrity connection. That’s why programs like Sheindlin’s usually run for decades — the audience is very reluctant to let go of that “friendship.”
Bloomberg is looking for the same boost from Sheindlin, who replaced Winfrey as daytime TV’s number one star: Her audience is largely female, mostly working class, and racially diverse — the kind of voters Democrats need to reach in November. Like Obama in 2007, the former New York mayor is not widely known. He can be easily categorized as an out-of-touch-billionaire with a less-than-warm campaign style. But millions of people honestly feel they know Judy Sheindlin — if that connection transfers over to Bloomberg, it could make a difference.
See What Major News Sources are Saying about this Below:
Judge Judy Sheindlin declared her support for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential candidacy Monday on ABC’s “The View.” Judge Judy, who has not publicly endorsed a presidential candidate in the past, says now is different.
“I like to say you can judge someone’s character by what they’ve done. Mike Bloomberg has done amazing things and will be a truly great president,” Sheindlin said in a new campaign ad. “No one comes close to Mike Bloomberg…”
Renowned TV personality Judge Judith Sheindlin, popularly known as “Judge Judy,” recently endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time: Michael Bloomberg. She defended the former NYC mayor during an appearance on “The View.”