coattails effect

In politics, the coattails effect is the impact one candidate can have on others in the same political party. The winner of a presidential election sometimes helps congressional representatives get elected too, thanks to the coattails effect.

Coattails are the long flaps at the back of a coat, and coattails effect comes from the figurative ride the coattails of, or "benefit from someone else's success." It's derogatory, implying that someone is pulled along with a successful person rather than working hard for their own achievements. In an election, the coattails effect means voting for a popular presidential candidate, then checking the boxes of others in her party almost as an afterthought.

Definitions of coattails effect
  1. noun
    (politics) the consequence of one popular candidate in an election drawing votes for other members of the same political party
    “he counted on the coattails effect to win him the election”
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    type of:
    consequence, effect, event, issue, outcome, result, upshot
    a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon
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