Given how much each had already invested in their candidate, what choice did they have but to believe him?
Just as no candidate spoke up in prior debates when audience members cheered executions and yelled, "Let him die!"
It does give a candidate that stamp of approval if they have Jim in their corner.
c.1600s, from Latin candidatus "one aspiring to office," originally "white-robed," past participle of candidare "to make white or bright," from candidus (see candid). Office-seekers in ancient Rome wore white togas.