This will probably be my last substantial “dump” of newspaper endorsements for the presidential election of 2012. Today I’ve linked to and excerpted endorsements from the following newspapers:
The Joplin Globe (Romney)
The Los Angeles Daily News (Romney)
The Shreveport Times (Romney)
Florida Today (Romney)
The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois (Romney)
The Intelligencer of suburban Philadelphia (Romney)
The Quad City Times serving northwest Illinois (Romney)
The Des Moines Register (Romney)
The Hartford Courant (Obama)
The New York Times (Obama)
The Chicago Tribune (Obama)
With the exception of the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, these are all newspapers that have changed the party of the candidate being endorsed since 2008, either from Obama to Romney or from McCain to Obama.
By my reckoning 72 publications have endorsed President Obama’s re-election while 71 have endorsed the election of Gov. Romney. Of these only five have switched from McCain to Obama while 25 publications that endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 now endorse Mitt Romney. That’s a dramatic shift from 2008 when newspaper endorsements enormously favored Barack Obama’s election.
There is clearly broad-ranging dissatisfaction with Barack Obama’s presidency. It can’t be neatly summarized by region, city vs. country, urban vs. suburban or any other simple bifurcation. Nearly all major circulation big city dailies endorsed Obama in 2008. Although most endorsed him again this year, some did not. This rejection is seen in all parts of the country; there is no east vs. west, north vs. south, or Union vs. Confederacy cleavage in any simple fashion. To be sure more newspapers in southern and western states endorsed Romney and, indeed, switched from Obama to Romney. But by no means is that exclusively the case.
The reasons for the dissatisfaction most frequently mentioned are the state of the economy and the president’s apparent lack of ability to reach across the aisle to get Republicans to support his proposals. Assign the blame where you will but the buck stops with the president.
Just how deep that dissatisfaction is will be seen on election day.