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Abrams, Kemp trot out big names for last-minute campaign rallies - but does it actually work?

While celebrity rallies create lots of buzz on the campaign trail – do they actually work?
President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

ATLANTA — The candidates for governor are hoping celebrity and political star power will help energize their base.

Former President Obama is set to campaign with Stacey Abrams Friday on Morehouse’s campus – so many people lined up for tickets in Marietta, it caused a huge traffic jam.

But he won’t be the only U.S. president here to campaign for a candidate. Brian Kemp is getting campaign help from the commander-in-chief – President Donald Trump.

Aside from former presidents, both campaigns have trotted out big names to help stump for them – from Will Ferrell to Oprah to Donald Trump, Jr.

READ | How to get tickets to see Obama in Atlanta and Trump in Macon

AND | Oprah joining Stacey Abrams in two town hall events: How to get free tickets

While celebrity rallies create lots of buzz on the campaign trail – do they actually work?

11Alive’s political analyst Andra Gillespie, a professor of political science at Emory University, said it comes down to free media. But it can be effective.

"The goal of these rallies this weekend is to try to energize volunteers, keep their spirits up so they can feel energized as they continue to knock on doors and they continue to make phone calls as they drive people to the polls all day next week," she explained.

BY THE NUMBERS | A breakdown of who's going to the polls

Gillespie said the rallies are nothing more than eye-candy unless it sparks recruitment to get volunteers to pound the pavement in local neighborhoods.

"Those things are actually more important than having the celebrity rallies," she said.

Helpful links for Georgia Voters:

Register to vote online: sos.ga.gov/elections

Change voter registration address: sos.ga.gov/elections

Check registration status: www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do

Election offices by county: http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/countyregistrarsindex.asp

Ga Votes App: Apple or Android app store

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