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Jess King welcomes Senator Bernie Sanders to the stage at the Jess King for Congress rally at Musser Park in Lancaster, City Saturday morning. May 5, 2018

Bernie Sanders’ high-profile endorsement and campaign rally for Jess King last weekend is a validation of the first-time candidate’s progressive bonafides, and it’s likely to give her a boost in much-needed fundraising, political analysts said.

But in a congressional district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 100,000 voters, Sanders and his national political celebrity may not make that much of a difference in converting votes for King.

“It won’t hurt her but it won’t really help her that much either,” said David O’Connell, professor of American politics at Dickinson College. “The research we have on endorsements is that candidates, political celebrities, newspapers and so forth — it shows they have an impact but it’s not substantially very large.”

King is the only remaining Democrat in the race for the 11th Congressional District, which recently gained GOP voters when it was redrawn to include all of Lancaster County and southern York County.

In November, she’ll face U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker or Manheim-area businessman Chet Beiler, who is challenging the incumbent in the May 15 Republican primary.

Sanders’ 2,000-person rally in Lancaster on Saturday was the largest event for any of the candidates this year — and King said she hopes it will help fuel her campaign heading into the general election.

“It just helps us raise visibility, get more people aware of what we’re trying to do, the policies we’re fighting for, the kind of campaign we’re running and then welcome people to be part of it,” King said.

Fundraising from those newly introduced to her campaign, especially out of state, is probably where it’s going to help the most, O’Connell and others said.

“It helps to lend progressive credentials to her campaign ... which I think would help in courting outside donors,” said Elizabethtown College political science professor Kyle Kopko.

In terms of winning more votes, though, Kopko isn’t so sure. Sanders’ progressive policies likely won’t resonate with the rural areas of southern York County included in the new district, he said.

Conversely, the Republican nominee probably won’t gain a lot by using Sanders’ visit to criticize King as being too progressive in the largely conservative district, said Stephen Medvic, a Franklin & Marshall College government professor.

“I don’t think the Republicans or right-leaning Independents are going to need much convincing,” Medvic said.

In 2016, Sanders had a strong showing of support in Lancaster County during his Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton. Clinton defeated him statewide by 8 percentage points, but Sanders won the county with 51 percent of the vote.

And while he lost the congressional district as it was drawn then — which included parts of Berks and Chester counties — he would have won the new 11th district, according to an analysis of precincts by King’s campaign.

Given those results, Kopko said, it wasn’t surprising that Sanders would target Lancaster in his effort to support candidates in the 2018 midterms, which has also added to speculation that he’s preparing another presidential run in 2020.

“This is a very big get for (King) to have somebody of that national profile to support her campaign. It’s something that she and her campaign should celebrate,” Kopko said. “But I think that this is serving Sanders more than serving King.”

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