With the presidential election only days away, voters who still find themselves undecided may be turning to endorsements for guidance.
Thankfully, we have been treated to some of the most politically savvy celebrities’ opinions, such as the presidential picks of Honey Boo Boo (Obama) and Jenna Jameson (Romney).
However, as we saw when Spectator published its endorsement of President Obama on Oct. 16, newspapers are one of the main providers of political endorsements. The question is, though, do these news organization endorsements actually affect voters?
The Des Moines Register, a publication in the swing state of Iowa that backed Obama in 2008, generated buzz when it published its endorsement of Romney on Oct. 28. Overall, though, most of the endorsements so far have come in on Obama’s side. Of the newspapers with the top five largest circulations, two have endorsed Obama (The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times), two generally do not endorse candidates (The Wall Street Journal and USA Today), and one (The New York Daily News) has not yet given an endorsement, but supported Obama in 2008.
Since these organizations have a larger readership, might they have the opportunity to influence more voters? Most of the endorsements, though, don’t come as a surprise—most are predictable from the start, reflective of the general political climate in the geographical regions they serve or typical of the publication’s own political bent. Maybe they are just telling their readers what they want to hear.
Take, for instance, The New York Post, the most widely circulated newspaper to endorse Romney, and The New Yorker, which recently endorsed Obama. The Post's endorsement embodies the publication’s usual conservatism and offers a slight dose of its infamously punchy, often sensationalist style. Overall, though, it focuses on the economic issues at stake: “Americans need jobs—jobs for those trying to raise a family, jobs for those who are leaving school, jobs period!”
Meanwhile, the more liberal New Yorker, sometimes criticized for catering to an intellectual elite, published a sprawling, stylistically intricate endorsement professing that, based primarily on social issues, “Obama’s America—one that progresses, however falteringly, toward social justice, tolerance, and equality—represents the future that this country deserves.” Which issues matter more to you? Which publications do you read? Is there any link between the two? We'll find out after we visit the polls on Nov. 6th.
For more election coverage, check out Spectator's special issue, here. Featured election endorsements include: