TIME 2016 Election

Here’s Why Newspaper Endorsements May Matter This Year

Do newspaper endorsements matter?

Not everyone thinks so. In a 2008 study by the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of respondents said a newspaper endorsement had “no effect” on their vote.

But a research paper published in the National Bureau of Economic Research that year found an exception: When they were unexpected. For example, if a conservative editorial board endorsed a Democrat or a liberal editorial board endorsed a Republican.

It’s still early for newspaper endorsements for Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson, but already there have been a few.

See the list below for some of the unexpected endorsements so far.

  • Cincinnati Enquirer: Clinton

    Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to and meets voters during a rally at Frontline Outreach and Youth Center in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday September 21, 2016.
    The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to and meets voters during a rally at Frontline Outreach and Youth Center in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday September 21, 2016.

    Publication: The Cincinnati Enquirer

    State: Ohio is a battleground state

    Endorsement History: Republican. The last Democratic presidential nominee that the newspaper endorsed was Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

    2016 Endorsement: Clinton

    Quote: “Trump is a clear and present danger to our country. He has no history of governance that should engender any confidence from voters. Trump has no foreign policy experience, and the fact that he doesn’t recognize it – instead insisting that, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do’ – is even more troubling.”

  • Dallas Morning News: Clinton

    Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after meeting national security experts for a National Security Working Session at the New York Historical Society Library in Manhattan, New York on Friday September 9, 2016.
    The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after meeting national security experts for a National Security Working Session at the New York Historical Society Library in Manhattan, New York on Friday September 9, 2016.

    Publication: The Dallas Morning News

    State: Texas is safe Trump territory

    Endorsement History: Republican. The last time the Morning News didn’t endorse the Republican nominee was 1964, when it was neutral in the contest between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater.

    2016 Endorsement: Clinton

    Quote: “We’ve been critical of Clinton’s handling of certain issues in the past. But unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has experience in actual governance, a record of service and a willingness to delve into real policy. Resume vs. resume, judgment vs. judgment, this election is no contest.”

  • Houston Chronicle: Clinton

    Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after meeting national security experts for a National Security Working Session at the New York Historical Society Library in Manhattan, New York on Friday September 9, 2016.
    The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after meeting national security experts for a National Security Working Session at the New York Historical Society Library in Manhattan, New York on Friday September 9, 2016.

    Publication: The Houston Chronicle

    State: Texas is safe Trump territory

    Endorsement History: Republican. The newspaper typically backs the Republican nominee with two exceptions: Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Barack Obama in 2008.

    2016 Endorsement: Clinton

    Quote: “Any one of Trump’s less-than-sterling qualities—his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance—is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, ‘I alone can fix it,’ should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.”

  • Arizona Republic: Clinton

    Democratic NomiHillary Clinton meets voters during a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sept. 27, 2016.
    The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Hillary Clinton meets voters during a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sept. 27, 2016.

    Publication: The Arizona Republic

    State: Arizona is not currently a battleground state

    Endorsement History: Republican. The newspaper has never before endorsed a Democratic presidential nominee over a Republican since its publication began in 1890.

    2016 Endorsement: Clinton

    Quote: “This year is different. The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified. That’s why, for the first time in our history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.”

  • Richmond Times-Dispatch: Johnson

    Gary Johnson, 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee, listens to questions from audience members during a campaign event at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.
    Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Gary Johnson, 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee, listens to questions from audience members during a campaign event at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.

    Publication: The Richmond Times-Dispatch

    State: Virginia is a battleground state

    Endorsement History: Republican. The Times-Dispatch has endorsed the Republican nominee for president since 1980.

    2016 Endorsement: Johnson

    Quote: “Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton meets the fundamental moral and professional standards we have every right to expect of an American president. Fortunately, there is a reasonable—and formidable—alternative.”

  • Winston-Salem Journal: Johnson

    Gary Johnson, 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign event at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.
    Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Gary Johnson, 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign event at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.

    Publication: The Winston-Salem Journal

    State: North Carolina is a battleground state

    Endorsement History: Mixed. The newspaper endorsed George W. Bush in 2000, neither candidate in 2004, John McCain in 2008 and Barack Obama in 2012.

    2016 Endorsement: Johnson

    Quote: “We’ve surprised even ourselves with this endorsement, our first for a Libertarian for president. But the timing has never been better for this particular Libertarian, Gary Johnson of New Mexico. He is everything the presidential candidates for the two major parties are not, thank God.”

  • New Hampshire Union Leader: Johnson

    Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson talks to a crowd of supporters at a rally on August 6, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    George Frey—Getty Images Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson talks to a crowd of supporters at a rally on August 6, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Publication: The New Hampshire Union Leader

    State: New Hampshire is a battleground state

    Endorsement History: Republican. The newspaper has endorsed the Republican presidential nominee for over 100 years.

    2016 Endorsement: Johnson

    Quote: “Voters leaning toward Trump are understandably fed up with the status quo, of which Clinton is a prime example. But they kid themselves if they think Trump isn’t pretty much a part of that status quo as well, or that he is in any way qualified to competently lead this nation.”

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