Madonna, Dancer

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I've seen Joss Whedon's viral video featuring a mock endorsement for Mitt Romney. Will it actually mean anything on voting day?
—Veronika S., via Twitter

If by "mean anything," you mean "swing the election," then yes. Really. Honestly. In fact, Madonna's fiercely-boed President Barack Obama endorsement, Kid Rock's riffing for Romney, Katy Perry wearing a dress with a voting ballot on it—it all could, believe it or not, make a huge difference in about a week. And I have proof.

First of all, if you believe the polls, the presidential race is supposed to be brutally tight right now. At least one respected pollster disagrees, predicting an Obama presidency for four more years. But in general, it's assumed that, if you care at all about who lives in the White House (and you should), getting out on Election Day is gonna be extra, super-duper crucial with sugar on top. For everybody.

In that vein, each side of the ticket needs to rally not only undecided voters but also their bases, the people who are solidly in one camp or another but may forget to cast a ballot on Nov. 6.

That includes young voters, the types who are, according to pollsters, more likely to vote for Obama. Just because so many of them are in the blue camp doesn't mean they're a lock—not if they don't vote. And that's why skin-tight ballot dresses and viral videos about zombies might actually make a real difference on Election Day.

"Viral videos tend to work for the youth vote, ages 18 to 29, because social media tends to have a greater impact on their everyday lives," political consultant Ford O'Connell tells me. "In President Obama's case this is a demographic he needs to show up in large numbers on Election Day, particularly in the battleground states."

As far as folks on the Romney side, those celebrity endorsements, which may not have mattered if the race were further apart, are just as important this year—especially this week.

"We have now entered the 'turnout' phase of the election, also known as 'Get Out the Vote,'" O'Connell tells me. "And we recognize the electoral significance of states like Ohio, Colorado and Iowa. Celebrities who play gigs on the road with the candidates at campaign events could be far more helpful for their favored candidate in terms of keeping their supporters energized to vote, even if they aren't likely to switch any votes.

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"Think Bruce Springsteen in Ohio for Obama, or Kid Rock or Trace Adkins for Romney in states like Colorado and Virginia. This tends to give Romney a more regular guy vibe."

So if Obama does end up winning in a week, you just might be able to credit...Madonna. Again, really.

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