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      Candidate endorsements: helpful or hurtful?

      Candidates hope endorsements will sway voters their way.

      Governor Nikki Haley recently endorsed Mitt Romney. But with her approval slipping in the state will Haley's endorsement help Romney or hurt him?

      Voters we talked with say endorsements don't mean anything to them.

      "I would be making an independent decision not based on other people's values, just my own," said Sarah Parker, Myrtle Beach.

      "I think I would like to make up my own decision," said Karen Kearns, Charleston.

      So, if endorsements don't matter to many voters, why do politicians want them?

      Political Science professor Holley Tankersley said an endorsement may be good for helping a candidate get some attention from the media.. and raise some money.

      "If those people who endorse the candidate are sitting politicians or candidates themselves, certainly you would think that they would share donor lists, share in that work contributions and that sort of thing," said Tankersly.

      But Tankersley said an endorsement from the wrong person can damage a candidate.

      The chairperson of Carolina Patriots, a Grand Strand Tea Party group, agrees.

      "I think that John McCain's endorsement is probably going to hurt romney more than it's gonna help him," said Janet Spencer.

      Spencer is among those who say endorsements won't sway her vote.

      But she believes an endorsement could be a deciding factor for other voters.. and if one senator in particular endorsed a presidential candidate, she would pay closer attention.

      "I've even heard people to say, I'm waiting for Jim Demint to endorse and then I'll know where to go."

      What about newspaper endorsements? Do they matter?

      Dr. Tankersley says they used to be fairly important, but many newspapers are dying or owned by big conglomerates and they don't have the same impact on local communities that they used to.

      Friday, Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman won the endorsement of the Boston Globe, Mitt Romney's hometown newspaper.