Is it true that the bigger the election, the less an endorsement means? Does an endorsement from a neighbor in an election for city council carry more weight than Washington bigwigs patting one another on the back for the presidency?

Three examples from the campaign trail:

Perhaps the biggest endorsement of the year, from Senator Ted Kennedy, gave Barack Obama credibility with the Democratic Party establishment. But his support failed to sway enough voters to carry Kennedy’s home state of Massachusetts on Super Tuesday.

In the wake of heavy losses amongst African-American voters, Hillary Clinton considered her longtime ally, Representative John Lewis of Georgia, an icon of the civil rights movement, to be a firewall of support. But when Lewis changed his endorsement to Obama, Clinton lost not only one of her primary inroads into the black community, but an all-important superdelegate vote which may decide her fate.

Not all endorsements should be welcomed. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said she’d rather vote for Clinton over John McCain, only to clarify that she’d vote for the devil over McCain. Obama declined praise from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, saying: “I’ve been very clear, in terms of me believing that what he has said is reprehensible and inappropriate.”