If newspaper editors still have sway, President Barack Obama appears poised to narrowly defeat Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a little more than 10 days.
According to The American Presidency Project, 17 newspapers have endorsed Obama for the November 6 election compared to 16 for Romney.
Seven papers tracked by the group no longer offer endorsements, while about 60 have yet to offer a suggestion.
The Los Angeles Times endorsed Obama earlier this week, saying he’s matured from an unproven leader four years ago.
“Just as important, Obama brought a certain levelheadedness to the White House that had been in short supply during the previous eight years,” The LA Times wrote on October 21.
If you consider newspaper circulation, Obama has a wider margin of support.
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The newspapers backing a second term for Obama reach nearly 4.1 million subscribers, while 3.5 million readers get newspapers supporting Romney.
The Dallas Morning News was among the first to make a decision, calling on voters to mark their ballots for Romney.
“Romney had to survive a fractious primary by steering too far right on some issues,” the paper wrote on September 28. “At his core, however, we see him as a ‘Chamber of Commerce Republican,’ more attuned to business interests than the tea party/social conservatism that defines today’s GOP.”
Those steering clear of taking a stand do so to avoid “spin,” the Chicago Sun-Times said when it made its decision back in January.
The editorial board said newspapers of today are long removed from their “unabashedly partisan” histories.
Publisher John Barron and editorial page editor Tom McNamee also share a more pragmatic view on the tradition.
“Research on the matter suggests that editorial endorsements don’t change many votes, especially in higher-profile races,” they wrote.
“Another school of thought, however — often expressed by readers — is that candidate endorsements, more so than all other views on an editorial page, promote the perception of a hidden bias by a newspaper, from Page One to the sports pages.”