Cheat Sheet

8 Big Newspaper Endorsements This Weekend

Swing-state newspapers are jumping into the deadlocked presidential race.

With national polls showing a neck-and-neck race for the White House and little reason to suspect that will change before November, Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama are fighting for every vote between now and Election Day. Part of that struggle will be an old-media war for ink and column space as they battle for newspaper endorsements, particularly in swing states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. The editorial boards of these regional papers often pen their support for or disapproval of a candidate in words that can reveal much about what voters in battleground states think is important, cutting through national generalizations. Here are some of the endorsements published this weekend.

1. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) – Obama

After endorsing then-Sen. Barack Obama for president in 2008, the editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer threw its weight behind Obama again Saturday in the critical swing state. “Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry,” the paper said in its endorsement. “Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will have health insurance.”

Read more at The Plain Dealer.

2. Akron Beacon Journal – Obama

In another Ohio win for the president, Obama snatched up the Akron Beacon Journal’s endorsement Saturday. Writing that Obama failed to live up to the soaring rhetoric of his 2008 campaign, yet fixing some of the blame for that to intractable Republicans, “what matters are his real accomplishments and the direction he proposes for the years ahead,” the editors say. “On both those counts, he has succeeded far more than his critics contend.”

Read more at the Akron Beacon Journal.

3. The Columbus Dispatch – Romney

Republican nominee Mitt Romney scored the endorsement of The Columbus Dispatch, however, the daily newspaper of Ohio’s capital. “After nearly four years of economic stagnation, massive unemployment, record-setting debt and government intrusions into the economy that have paralyzed the private sector, the United States needs a new direction,” the paper’s editorial board writes. Obama did not have the necessary experience when he took office in 2008, the editors say, but Romney’s “adult life had been spent turning around troubled private and public institutions.”

Read more at The Columbus Dispatch.

4. Houston Chronicle – Romney

After endorsing Barack Obama in 2008, the Houston Chronicle says Texans should cast their ballots for Mitt Romney this November. Among other complaints, the Lone Star State’s outsize ego has been bruised by the president: “As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president’s attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector.”

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Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

5. Union Leader – Romney

In its endorsement of Mitt Romney, the Manchester, N.H., Union Leader indicts President Obama’s approach to the economy. “What Obama offers America is a fantasy. Sputtering economies are not sparked back to life by government-directed spending on industries hand-chosen by politicians. They are revived by unleashing the energy and creativity of the American people.

“The key difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama is that Romney understands that crucial economic truth; Barack Obama does not.”

Read more at the Union Leader.

6. The Denver Post – Obama

Noting that they endorsed “a largely untested young senator from Illinois for president in 2008,” the editorial board of The Denver Post renewed its support for Barack Obama on Sunday. “Four years later, the Iraq war is over, the war in Afghanistan has a conclusion in sight, and the economy has made demonstrable—though hardly remarkable—progress,” the paper writes.

Read more at the The Denver Post.

7. The Star-Ledger – Obama

This election is not about short-term economic growth, New Jersey’s Star-Ledger writes in its endorsement of the president. “Let’s face it: Neither candidate has a credible strategy to spark a more robust recovery in the short term ... But the distinctions between Obama and Romney are profound when it comes to America’s prospects over the longer term.” While not offering the most rousing call for the president’s reelection, Romney has failed to offer either a strong plan for the economy or a social program most Americans can support, the paper’s editorial board says.

Read more at The Star-Ledger.

8. Los Angeles Times – Obama

The Los Angeles Times lauded President Obama’s foreign-policy track record as well as his role in guiding America through the recession in its full-throated endorsement of the president for reelection. “Just as important, Obama brought a certain levelheadedness to the White House that had been in short supply during the previous eight years,” the paper’s editors wrote, saying that Mitt Romney “has demonstrated clearly that he’s the wrong choice.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.