Obama and Romney Split Early Newspaper Endorsements

By Greg Mitchell

As I wrote earlier this month, I’ll be tracking newspaper endorsements in the presidential race here, along with my assistant Steven Hsieh.  This harkens back to my days as editor of Editor & Publisher when we provided the definitive count.  I hold that they do matter, at least a little, citing my record as a prognosticator in picking winners in swing states based purely on these endorsements.

Our first report last week covered only five early endorsers, but there have been at least 11 more, form papers large and small,  in recent days.   Obama gained six of them, but still trails Romney, by 11 to 9.  Of course, size matters.  Also, we will note papers switching form one party to the other–a key in 2008 when many Bush-backers switched to Obama.  And follow my daily updates here.
Romney gained the support of several small newspapers this weekend, including The Cherokee Tribune (Georgia), Royal Oak Daily Tribune (Michigan), and Bismarck Tribune (North Dakota). The GOP candidate also landed two  newspapers in swing state Colorado—The Pueblo Chieftain and Longmont Times-Call.
Last week, he got the support of The Omaha World Herald and key-swing state paper, The Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Review-Journal, emphasizing Nevada’s unemployment rate of 22 percent‚ the worst in the nation, says Romney’s business expertise and free-market vision make him better suited for the presidency:  “Mr. Romney has promised to create a Cabinet of private-sector leaders focused on strengthening the country’s business climate and making it more competitive.”
Of the endorsements printed this weekend, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s pro-Obama Sunday editorial will reach the largest audience–and polls show the state may now be back in play.

The Inquirer lead with a criticism of Mitt Romney‘s regressive tax plan and economic proposals: “GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants voters to forget their familiarity with the prize he’s dangling before their eyes – a return to the disastrous economic policies that preceded the recession.”
Also notably, The Winston-Salem Journal, in swing state North Carolina, which backed John McCain in 2008, switched sides on Sunday, praising the president’s handling of the economic recovery and Iraq pull-out, as well as his healthcare plan. The paper also paints Obama as “courageous in standing up for the rights of all Americans,” in contrast to Romney, who the board finds difficulty in figuring out what he “really stands for.”
This weekend, President Obama also got the backing of The Flint Journal, Sacramento Bee, Everett Herald (Washington) and Charleston Gazette (West Virginia). Last weekend, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch declared its support for the president’s re-election.

Note:  You can find my hourly campaign updates here and also follow my debate coverage @GregMitch.

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