Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Declines to Endorse Obama (Endorsed Him in 2008)

Although this is a complete Journalistic cop-out, this is a win for Romney because it is a change away from Obama and the paper is in liberal central Milwaukee. It is only further evidence of the shifting tide away from hopey-changey:. This lack of endorsement is the phase of the Romney campaign where they said: “It’s OK, you tried, he tried, but it’s time to let him go …”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel decides not to endorse in presidential and Senate races

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Wisconsin’s largest and most influential news organization — won’t be endorsing in the very tight presidential and races this year. (Oct. 17 headline: “Marquette Law School Poll finds presidential and Senate races tied in Wisconsin.”)

I asked editorial page editor David Haynes about this and he replied in an email: “I’m writing a column on our decision for the Sunday paper. We may post that early (Friday). As a point of history: The JS did not endorse in the 2000 presidential election, and I remember [editor] Marty Kaiser writing at the time that it was not the first time that a newspaper in Milwaukee had not endorsed. It wasn’t common, but it had happened before.”

Will the paper be making any endorsements? “Sorry, going to have to put you off until we tell our readers,” Haynes replied.

I’m told that both U.S. Senate candidates Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson were furious when they heard the no-endorsement news; I’ve requested comment from both campaigns.

Inside the paper, I’m told, there’s the feeling that “we have two tough picks to make and we’re taking a pass,” and the paper is less relevant because of it.

Five years ago, a Journal Sentinel staffer told Milwaukee Magazine that “we should endorse for president or get out of the editorial business.” In the same media column, the head of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism department said: “If you’re not going to editorialize on the most important topic of the day, and if you’re not going to take a stand in the most important presidential election of our lives, what’s the point?”


  1. Ranger375
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Heard someone on TV last night say that endorsements don’t really matter — well a lack of one might –oh and debates don’t matter either — Right? 🙂

    • Pete
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Just saw this FWIW:

      OH news from Adrian Gray on Twitter:

      OHIO: Bellwether counties 2012: Republican turnout beating Democrat turnout as % of 2008 turnout (106% to 74%).

      In bellwether counties, 7% more D’s than R’s voted early this point in 2008. Today, 1% more R’s have voted. A 8.4% net GOP gain.

      My bellwether counties (Hamilton, Lake, Montgomery and Stark) went combined 51-49 for Bush in 2004 and 52-46 for Obama in 2008.

      • Pete
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Also this:

        Regarding OH polls, an interesting exchange on Twitter with Larry Schweikart, the Univ. of Dayton professor who’s looking closely at the early vote:

        Ali A. Akbar ?@ali
        Notice we’re always one strong poll of a complete Romney win? The combos keep changing according to the media. Pft.

        Larry Schweikart ?@LSchweikart
        @ali I asked major pollster same thing Mon. He said they all know once they put R/R in lead in OH it’s over

      • Ron
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        I think Obama’s camp has been running a Potemkin Village campaign from day one, straining to give the illusion of great popularity by bogus polls and advocacy in the media. When the illusion of inevitability fell away after his disastrous first debate, Obama floundered. I think the media will do what it can to apply a little “english” to the polls to buoy him up till the final week–but there’s no wind in his sails. He’s got the air wars and an expensively laid-out ground game–but the public’s not behind him.

  2. Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    endorsements mean nothing. Remember that the media in this country have a trust rating of 8% by some polls. No one since probably the Johnson or Nixon administration has made a decision based upon a newspaper endorsement. They are a dying medium and the overwhelming majority of Amercians could care less what they think.

    • allthingsgeography1
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      They don’t matter in the literal sense, but they do set a narrative and can add to momentum I think.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It still does speak to how disheartened some are with the Obama Presidency. I think those most likely to still pay attention to papers are on the left, so this lack of endorsement could slightly depress turnout in Milwaukee and that helps Romney.

  3. petep
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    While newspaper endorsements may only sway a modest number of voters (especially the low information ones), they are still important indicators of where the moderate/liberal opinion folks of a community are with regards to the election. As such, changes in endorsements are very significant.

  4. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Via the “daily Kooks”…

    Barack Obama

    Arizona Daily Star (Arizona)

    Arkansas Times (Arkansas)

    The Sacramento Bee (California)
    San Francisco Examiner (California) •
    Los Angeles Times (California)
    dThe Riverside County Record (California)
    Independent Coast Observer (California)
    Santa Barbara Independent (California)

    Durango Herald (Colorado)
    The Denver Post (Colorado)
    Daily Camera (Colorado)
    Aurora Sentinel (Colorado)

    New Haven Register (Connecticut)

    The Tampa Bay Times (Florida)

    The Messenger (Kentucky)

    Kalamazoo Gazette (Michigan)
    The Flint Journal (Michigan)
    Muskegon Chronicle (Michigan)

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

    Lincoln Journal Star (Nebraska) •

    Montclair Times (New Jersey)
    Star Ledger (New Jersey)

    Las Cruces Sun-News (New Mexico)
    Santa Fe New Mexican (New Mexico)
    Las Cruces Sun-News (New Mexico)

    Las Vegas Sun (Nevada)

    Asheville Citizen Times (North Carolina)
    The Winston-Salem Journal (North Carolina) •
    Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)

    Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)
    Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio)

    Daily Astorian (Oregon)
    Eugene Weekly (Oregon)

    The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania)

    San Antonio Express-News (Texas) •

    Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

    The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
    The Glenville Democrat (West Virginia)
    The Glenville Pathfinder (West Virginia)

    The Herald (Washington)
    The Seattle Times (Washington)

    The Capital Times (Wisconsin)

    Mitt Romney

    Arizona Republic (Arizona)
    Casa Grande Dispatch (Arizona)

    Arkansas Times (Arkansas)

    North County Times (California)
    San Diego Union-Tribune (California)

    The Daily Sentinel (Colorado)
    The Pueblo Chieftain (Colorado)
    Longmont Times-Call (Colorado)
    Loveland Reporter-Herald (Colorado)
    Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado) °

    The Orlando Sentinel (Florida) •

    Cherokee Tribune (Georgia)

    Eagle Tribune (Massachusetts)

    Royal Oak Daily Tribune (Michigan) •

    Billings Gazette (Montana)

    Omaha World Herald (Nebraska)
    Newman Grove Reporter (Nebraska)

    Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nevada)
    Reno Gazette Journal (Nevada) •

    The New York Observer (New York) •

    The Bismarck Tribune (North Dakota)
    The Buckeye Lake Beacon (North Dakota)
    Minot Daily News (North Dakota)

    Union-Leader (New Hampshire)

    Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Pennsylvania)

    The Tennessean (Nashville) •

    The Dallas Morning News (Texas)
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)
    Houston Chronicle (Texas) •
    The Lufkin Daily News (Texas)

    The Winchester Star (Virginia)

    Wheeling News-Register (West Virginia)
    The Intelligencer of Wheeling (West Virginia)
    The Journal of Martinsburg (West Virginia)
    Weirton Daily Times (West Virginia)
    Parkersburg News and Sentinel (West Virginia)
    The Inter-Mountain in Elkins (West Virginia)

    Spokesman Review (Washington)
    The Vancouver Columbian (Washington) •

    Star-Tribune (Wyoming)

    • TeaPartyPaul
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      this is via “DailyKos website…they are leaving off the ONLY and LARGEST Arkansas daily newspaper “Arkansas Democrat Gazette” they endorsed Romney. Arkansas Times is a free arkansas newspaper with a VERY VERY small circulation only in liberal pulaski county only. Ar Dem is statewide our daily and Sunday paper statewide. So i wonder how many more they are missing.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I am assuming the NY Post and NY Sun will endorse Romney.

  5. Eric
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi folks!

    So I’ve been doing some pretty extensive research into figuring out what the party ID in each state should be. I start with a couple of baseline assumptions.

    First, Rasmussen continuously measures party ID. They have been doing that since 2004, and they have been dead on right in every election. They even nailed the Wisconsin election in June.

    Second, party ID in presidential elections tends to be slightly more favorable to Democrats than in mid-term elections (about 2%).

    Third, Rasmussen has detected a 2-point shift towards Republicans since 2010.

    Fourth, Gallup also recently did an extensive poll for party ID and they found that nationally the parties are even.

    If you consider the Rasmussen polling moving 2 points towards Republicans in addition to midterms being slightly more Republican than Democrat, that means that 2012 should be right on the nose like 2010. 2010 party ID was even. Both Gallup and Rasmussen point towards using an even party ID (or slightly more Republican if anything). To be conservative, I picked an even party ID nationally.

    The next step is figuring out where a state should lie in a national environment like that. I went back and looked at presidential elections for decades in each state and compared how a state voted compared to the national average to get an idea of the overall lean of a state. Looking at year after year after year you can determine which states are trending Democratic, which are trending Republican, and which ones have no trend. Most have no trend.

    A easy determination is if a state has no trend, then its 2012 party ID should match the 2010 party ID since the national numbers from 2010 and 2012 should be fairly close. Small adjustments are needed for states trending a particular direction. For example, Virginia, Michigan, and Nevada are trending Democratic. Missouri is trending Republican.

    Then, I went about putting all of the state polls into a spreadsheet and adjusted them for the estimated correct party IDs based on the previous work I just described. I tried to be as objective as possible in coming up with the correct party IDs.

    The party IDs that I came up with for any state that I perceive to be within 10% are:

    Colorado: REP+4
    Florida: EVEN
    Iowa: REP+4
    Michigan: DEM+8
    Missouri: REP+4
    Minnesota: DEM+3
    Montana: REP+3
    Nevada: DEM+4
    New Hampshire: REP+3
    New Jersey: DEM+10
    New Mexico: DEM+7
    North Carolina: REP+1
    Ohio: REP+1
    Oregon: DEM+2
    Pennsylvania: DEM+3
    Virginia: REP+2
    Wisconsin: DEM+1

    If you adjust the polls to the correct party IDs and average them you get this arrangement:
    Obama leading by 7-10% – New Jersey, New Mexico
    Obama leading by 4-7% – Maine, Michigan, Oregon (Maine is purely a guess as I haven’t seen any Maine polls)
    Obama leading by 1-4% – Minnesota, Nevada
    Very close to tied – New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
    Romney leading by 1-4% – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio
    Romney leading by 4-7% – Virginia
    Romney leading by 7-10% – Missouri, Montana, North Carolina

    Those 9 states under a 4% margin (MN, NV, NH, PA, WI, CO, FL, IA, OH) also happen to be where the candidates are traveling. The one exception is Virginia. Maybe Virginia is a bit closer than I have there, but the candidates haven’t been there for a week and rumors are that the Obama campaign stopped polling in Virginia.

    If Romney just holds the states that are leaning his way at the moment, then he has 281 electoral votes to 223 for Obama. An additional 34 electoral votes are in the middle under tossups.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh boy, don’t let Peter P. see this. Blood is going to shoot out of his eyes..

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No presidential candidate is visiting Minnesota. No presidential candidate is visiting Pennsylvania. Obama is visiting Virginia towards the end of the week, despite the fact Obama is likely to lose VA. I agree with most of the above, but it’s still a little too rosy for Romney. Where the presidential candidates visit is what matters. Where their VPs and surrogates visit is irrelevant.

      Going to play devil’s advocate here (never be afraid to consider bad news)…no way OH will be Dem+9 on election day. However, it is somewhat possible that OH is more dem now than 4 years ago. The economy is better in OH than many parts of the country, the GOP is not particularly popular in OH, and Obama has spent a crazy amount of money in OH convincing OH voters that Romney hates the auto-industry. Perhaps OH has shifted a little to the left since 2008?

      • Eric
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        It’s certainly possible that Ohio is more Democratic than in 2010. Totally agree. But you run the numbers, Ohio has to be D+5 or higher for Obama to win Ohio. It was D+5 in 2008.

        As for the candidates visit, I was looking at where them or their wives have gone. Biden’s wife has been in Minnesota. Ryan has been in Pennsylvania. Romney also did an event in PA a couple of weeks ago. I agree that Virginia might be closer as it’s very dependent on the black turnout %. Obama might try to drum that up. It’s a long shot though.

      • Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Greymarch, the auto industry play is way overblown in Ohio. If there has been an effect, it will get cancelled and then some by coal-miner Democrats whom are ticked at Obama for nuking the coal industry in Eastern Ohio.

      • Brian
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        By a significant margin (I’m taking around 10%+), Ohioans credit Kasich for Ohio’s improving economy, NOT Obama.

  6. acasilaco
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great site for presidential info. This page compares 2008 major newspaper endorsements to 2012. I think the page is being updated daily.

    • Teapartypaul
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Acas i looked there to they didnt have romneys arkansas democrat gazette endorsement.

  7. Jan
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Livestream for Iowa rally in Cedar Rapids for whom is interested. Romney just started his speech:

  8. AussieMarcus
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Baydoum/Foster or whatever they’re called have it a dead heat in Michigan. Although some people don’t seem to trust these guys so much.

    Also interested to see RCP dumped Missouri from their “Battleground States” window and added Minnesota.

  9. mdsanders
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tie ball game in Michigan? Wish I had the internals

  10. Medicine Man
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Intrade is so fickle. After the Michigan poll, Intrade dropped 2 points….they are just waiting to dump some shares.

  11. Ron
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    Then there’s this: Obama has lost the “cool” factor. Even Letterman has his doubts. No signs going up on front lawns. No kids volunteering in hordes. Biden is a continual embarrassment. Oddly, it’s Romney and Ryan who have the youth and vigor, not to mention the ideas.

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