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POLL: How much do election endorsements matter to voters?

A screen shot of a Los Angeles Times endorsement headline
A screen shot of a Los Angeles Times endorsement headline "Obama for president" on Monday, October 22, 2012.

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Presidential endorsements have been coming in from newspapers around the country: The Dallas Morning News has anointed Mitt Romney, while The Philadelphia Inquirer backs Barack Obama. Yesterday The Los Angeles Times threw its considerable weight - over 600,000 readers - behind Obama, as they did in 2008. But several large papers, including The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, have come out to say they don’t endorse presidential candidates.

Studies in recent years have questioned the relevance of newspaper endorsements for voters in an age when information about the candidates is readily available at the touch of an iPad. It remains to be seen whether Obama’s nod from Colorado’s Denver Post or Romney’s from The Las Vegas Review-Journal will help grease the wheels in those swing states. And two major Florida papers, The Orlando Sentinel and The Tampa Bay Times have seemingly canceled each other out by endorsing Romney and Obama, respectively.

What impact do newspaper endorsements have on voters at the polls? Does your local newspaper’s opinion page reflect your concerns? Do you trust editorial endorsements to help you decide how to vote in local races and on propositions? How about for president?


Robert Greene, editorial writer and member of the editorial board for Los Angeles Times

Greg Mitchell , writes the Media Fix blog for The Nation; former editor at Editor & Publisher and author of 13 books on politics and history; including The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics (Polipoint Press) and Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady (Random House)