While many media observers question the import of newspaper endorsements, editorial boards at most of the nation's major dailies continue to formally throw support behind one presidential candidate or the other. This weekend, the list of final-stage newspaper endorsements picked up by both candidates continued to grow.
The Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Mich.)
"On the strength of those achievements alone, Obama’s second four-year term ought to be a no-brainer. Most two-term presidents can’t claim to have gotten as much done. The country is safer. Its economy and its largest industry have been restored to health. And health care reform, fought out over 50 years in the U.S. Congress, has at last begun in earnest."
The Toledo Blade (Toledo, Ohio)
"A second term for President Barack Obama would be a better outcome for Ohio, Michigan, and the rest of the country — and would offer more hopeful prospects for the next four years — than would his replacement by his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. The Blade recommends the President’s re-election. During his administration, President Obama has provided pragmatic, steady, centrist leadership that has served the nation well. He has dealt effectively with economic recession at home and turmoil abroad, much of which he inherited from his predecessor. The stimulus he promoted — along with the auto and bank bailouts — helped prevent the recession from becoming a depression."
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
"Obama’s policies, including his economic stimulus efforts, have helped to reduce unemployment and create jobs, and in many parts of the country (including urban North Carolina) even the housing market is improving. There is hope. If one doesn’t believe it, ask workers in the auto industry, many of whose jobs were saved because of policies backed by the Obama White House. Contrary to what his most vitriolic critics say, President Obama has much of which to be proud in this first term, and it goes beyond the catch phrase, “The auto industry is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
And after The Des Moines Register threw its support behind GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the newspaper's first endorsement of a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon, other newspapers have followed.
The Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.)
"Romney understands the value of free enterprise, appreciates its utterly unique ability to alleviate poverty, unleash creative endeavor, spread wealth and lift the burden of ceaseless backbreaking labor. In this year's presidential campaign, he is alone in that respect."
The Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)
"While we believe the national economy is on the way back, we believe it will take another administration change, to Romney, to bring the leadership that will make that recovery timely, robust and sustainable."
The Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa)
"In Romney, who we endorsed to be the Republican nominee before both the 2008 and 2012 Iowa Caucuses, we see a man possessed of successful, executive decision-making experience in both the private and public sectors who understands economics and who would apply necessary conservative principles to meeting the country's fiscal challenges."
The Cincinnati Inquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio)
"President Barack Obama has had four years to overcome the job losses of the Great Recession he inherited, but the recovery has been too slow and too weak. It’s time for new leadership from Mitt Romney, a governor and business leader with a record of solving problems."
Newspapers that have backed Obama have generally pointed to the nuanced ways in which his policies rescued the economy from free fall and set up a recovery that is gaining strength. Most also took jabs at the Republican-controlled Congress for blocking proposals by the president that might have accelerated job growth rather than simply boosting corporate cash holdings to record highs.
Newspapers endorsing Romney almost uniformly point to his private-sector business experience and intimate knowledge of the free enterprise system. They also cite his commitment to the limited spending and low tax rates the newspapers' editors see as necessary for the economy to return to a robust state.
Poynter, a nonprofit media monitoring and journalism training organization, has pulled together a list of endorsements announced by swing-state newspapers here. And the Daily Kos, a left-leaning political blog, has compiled a larger list of newspaper endorsements collected by each of the candidates here.