Endorsement Dump

As of this morning by my reckoning 40 publications have endorsed the re-election of Barack Obama, 49 have endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Two major circulation dailies made their endorsements yesterday: the Washington Post and the New York Post. Although the WP endorsed Obama in 2008 while the New York Post endorsed McCain, I’ve linked and excerpted both of their editorials below in recognition of their circulation and, at least in the case of the Washington Post, presumed influence.

Of Chicago’s two important dailies, the Sun-Times has decided no longer to make political endorsements and the Tribune endorsed Barack Obama’s election in 2008. I expect it to do so again but that’s not a foregone conclusion and I’m eagerly awaiting its endorsement.

The reason that I’m putting so much energy into tracking newspaper endorsements is twofold. Newspapers perform two differing functions. On the one hand they provide a barometer based on ears to the ground on opinion among their readership and on the other they attempt to educate and inform their readership. Both of those functions are useful in evaluating presidential candidates and the status of their candidacies.

Based on newspaper endorsements alone I think it’s very clear that the election this cycle is very, very different from that of 2008. I continue to think that the advantage lies with the incumbent but that the election will be extremely close.

The president’s re-election campaign must be worried. As I’ve said before I don’t pay much attention to the polls until the middle of October. We’re past the middle of October and the polls are not going in the president’s direction. As of today the RCP average of polls shows Mitt Romney leading by almost a full point and an increasing number of polls are reflecting a significant 50% in Romney’s favor. The campaign isn’t acting worried. Its reaction seems to me to be something between panic and disbelief.

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  • The polls really only tell us two things. First, they can tell us trends. The trend hasn’t favored Obama when it has mattered most this time. Second, they can tell us where the incumbent stands.* Obama consistently polls below 50% – that is horrible for an incumbent.

    I expect lots of news stories today about how wonderful 2.0% GDP growth is. If the Legacy Media doesn’t push that meme it means they’re abandoning Barry too. Last week** I noticed a piece by CBS on the “real” Mitt Romney and a NYT’s piece on Romney’s management style that was mostly favorable. It’s like they’re preparing us for the inevitable.

    *Increasingly I feel even this second function is potentially useless because of polling difficulties.

    ** Or were these early this week? The Daughter Unit has not only broken free from her crib, she now knows how to work the doorknobs. Not good for getting sleep.

  • Appropos of nothing whatsoever, playing with my daughter and her toy rotary phone I find myself suddenly wanting one for the house. I miss the sounds and feel of the old things.

  • As a mark of just how pessimistic I am, we have a rotary phone and and an AT&T land line. AT&T maintains its own power supply. When everything else is failing the old landline is the connection most likely to be live.

    We have cordless phones, too, and both of us have our own cell phones. But we still have the old one, just in case.

    We also have RJ12, RJ45, and RG6 connections everywhere. Wireless is fine for casual use and transients but nothing beats wires. But that’s another subject.

  • Wireless is fine for casual use and transients but nothing beats wires. But that’s another subject.

    Okay, there’s a topic I’d like to read about, just to see where we might agree and disagree.

    I used to stubbornly hold onto a land line out of habit. Then in 2004 we had three hurricanes pass overhead in six weeks. (Florida as a whole got four in six weeks but big, bad Ivan (a seriously scary storm) left us alone. We only had to deal with Charley, Frances and Jeanne.) The land line was the only thing still working after Charley. And like you say, it’s necessary to have a phone that doesn’t require power to work. We always keep on of those handy too.

  • Our condo association in Orange Beach required a land line. Too much risk of interference otherwise.

  • Big , bad Ivan knocked the whole city of Gulf Shores out of commission for about a year.

  • Like I said, that was one scary storm. Really we got lucky that it didn’t hit some place more densely populated area. If it had turned like Charley did it would have easily topped $30 billion in damage in the US. (Charley only did about $15 billion.)

  • Back to the election:

    I’m not sure that a close win for Obama ever made sense. I went back and looked at previous elections. Presidents that win re-election get more votes the second time around. Discounting FDR*, you’ve got to go all the way back to Woodrow Wilson to find a President winning re-election with less support than the previous time around.

    In fact, Woodrow Wilson and FDR are the ONLY two Presidents to win re-election with fewer electoral votes the second time around!

    * FDR won huge the first time, won a near sweep for his first re-election, and won with huge but decreasing amounts for his other two election efforts. His last result was his worst, when he only won with 432 electoral votes – 333 more votes than his competitor! And that’s why I discount his totals. If you include him my point still stands.

  • Note that you’ve got to remember how the mechanics changed from 1800 to 1804. (Aaron Burr!) It still holds up, however.

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