Are newspaper endorsement irrelevant in today’s world?

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November 10, 2016 by Paul Dughi

capture

USA Today is the most-circulated newspaper in the country and until this election year, had never taken sides in a Presidential election.  In 2016, it asked readers not to vote for Donald Trump.  The Arizona Republic supported Hillary Clinton, the first time it had endorsed a Democrat in 126 years.

In 143 of publishing, The Detroit News had never backed a Democrat – until this year.  The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed Clinton, its first time supporting a Democrat in its 148-year history.  The last time the Cincinnati Enquirer backed a Democrat was 1016 until this year.

In total, Clinton had 57 endorsements to Trump’s 2 from the 100 US newspapers with the largest circulation per the American Presidency Project, which tracked endorsements.

endorse

Libertarian Gary Johnson got 4 endorsements – twice what Trump got.  Only the Las Vegas Review-Journal (owned by a large Republican donor) and The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Florida endorsed Trump.

26 major papers simply chose not to endorse anyone.

It appears the endorsements by the major newspapers were largely ignored by voters.  Just like the polls that generally predicted a significant win by Clinton.

You might expect the Huffington Post to go Clinton, but look at the forecast it posted in the early morning of election day.

huffpo

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com, which aggregates polls, was just slightly more conservative, but still predicted an overwhelming advantage to Clinton.

538

How did everyone get things this wrong?  The hand-wringing and analysis will be going on for quite some time.

 

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