Wisconsin State Journal Endorses Romney (Endorsed Obama in 2008)

Our pick: Mitt Romney

Not enough hope and too little change.

That is President Barack Obama’s record on the economy, debt and Washington gridlock after four years in the White House.

The State Journal editorial board endorses Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s presidential election.

Romney showed as the Republican governor of Democratic-leaning Massachusetts that he can find agreement across the partisan divide. And his vice presidential pick — Wisconsin’s U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville — suggests Romney is serious about tackling America’s fiscal mess.

Romney has an impressive record of success in the private and public sectors. He’s a numbers guy who focuses more on results than ideology. That’s why so many of his fellow Republicans during the GOP primary criticized him for not being conservative enough.

Romney has been a strong leader in business and civic life. This includes turning around many troubled companies and the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Romney better understands how and why entrepreneurs and employers decide to expand and add jobs. He’s more likely to get the private-sector going strong again.

Romney displayed reasonableness and smarts during the debates. And his view on the most pressing foreign policy question — Iran — is similar to his opponent’s.

Yes, Romney did his share of flip-flopping and pandering during the GOP primary to get past stubborn party stalwarts. Yes, Romney’s talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act and boosting military spending are unrealistic. We disagree with Romney on a host of social issues, from marriage equality to abortion rights.

This is not an easy endorsement to make.

Obama is the more likeable candidate and inspiring speaker. Obama inherited a mess from his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, who was even more disappointing than Obama has been.

Obama got us out of Iraq. He pressured public schools to reform. He gave the final order that got Osama bin Laden.

But this election is about jobs, the slow economy and Washington’s dysfunction. Our leaders can’t even pass a budget, much less stabilize soaring debt that’s burdening our children and grandchildren.

Obama failed to embrace his own commission’s bipartisan debt deal. Ryan, serving on the commission, similarly balked at the solid and comprehensive agreement.

But Obama is the president. The buck stops with him. This is now Obama’s economy, even though the GOP shares in the blame for partisan games.

It was Obama and his fellow Democrats who went it alone on health care, making subsequent deals even harder to find. It was Obama who too often let Congress steer the ship in circles. It still is Obama who hasn’t laid out a clear vision for the next four years.

We endorsed Obama for change last time around. Now we’re endorsing change again: Mitt Romney.


  1. JW
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Good news. I’m not sure of the impact of this paper, but ever little thing helps.

    • M. White
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      3rd largest newspaper in Wisconsin located in Madison. This is a good endorsement and will probably reach 250,000 to 500,000.
      The largest newspaper is Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, they no longer endorse candidates.

  2. JGS
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    New York Daily News also endorsed Romney (endorsed Obama in 2008).


  3. John
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is amazing. Having lived in Wisconsin for the first 28 years of my life (now live in Nebraska) I would say that the Wisconsin State Journal is one of THE most liberal papers in that state with primary subscription from Madison and surrounding counties. On Monday they may come to work and find state and teacher union protestors marching outside their offices. Also, a week ago or so the Milwaukee Journal published an editorial in which they defended not endorsing anyone (went Obama big time in ’08) which amounted to a tacit endorsement of Romney.

    • housebroken dad
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Agreed. Very shocking endorsement here. In Madison, you fall into 3 categories. You care zero about politics, you are a far left liberal loon or you can’t stand far left liberal loons. There is no in-between.

  4. Ranger375
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Seems like they struggled a little with this decision. 🙂

  5. Medicine Man
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not sure what to take of it, but Ace of Spades has some info regarding some insider info regarding a Blue State. Looks like MO is on RR’s side. http://ace.mu.nu/

    • Waingro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink | Reply


      • Kardinal11
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Momentum not missouri

      • Anonymous Conservative
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        @Kardinal11 – actually, Mitt has both momentum and Missouri on his side, LOL.

  6. John
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Florida early voting update. Below are the total ballots cast not counting yesterday. Dems lead was 103,757 but polls have mostly indicated a pretty strong Indy lean toward Romney and I think cross-overs will also favor Romney. Based on news reports yesterday (last day for in-person early voting)was a huge day with lines up to three hours long to vote so will be interesting to see who surged on last day.

    Florida Early Votes (in person and absentee) Cast through Fri 2 Nov

    Party Early Totals %
    DEM 1,665,825 43%
    REP 1,562,068 40%
    IND 686,486 18%
    Total 3,914,379

    Data from: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/11/about-4-million-early-fl-ballots-cast-and-growing-ds-leading-rs-by-104000.html#storylink=cpy

    • M. White
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is great news. Democrats always have more early voters, but this is big decrease for them. Romney will win huge on Tuesday!

      • Eric
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Independents in Florida aren’t that Republican. Kerry won Indys in 2004, yet lost the state by 5. In Florida, a lot of Democrats vote Republican, particularly in North Florida. This information indicates that Florida is probably somewhere around tied or a small lead for Obama in early voting. Election day voters will go to Romney by double digit margins, so Romney will easily win Florida.

  7. SK
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    US News endorses Romney. This is internationally known and a big thing outside US . Hopefully the endorsement by Mary Kate Kary is the endorsement by US News coming on election eve on Major Headlines


    Keith – Is it possible to run this as a story – the message is powerful -Why Romney will win

  8. Neil in NC
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is a pretty substantial paper. They’re about 1/2 the size of our regional paper the Raleigh N&O.

    I don’t know many folks that still read the paper though so I don’t know how relevant any of the endorsements actually will be in delivering votes.

  9. Dave
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink | Reply


    “Dave, not sure why you put your response in this thread”

    because it was the top thread.

    “You’re claiming that the corporations, which are contributing money disproportionately to Romney’s campaign are secretly subverting the polling organizations to thwart Romney? I find it much, much easier to believe that there’s some systematic error brought on by “conventional wisdom” among the pollsters, but that still doesn’t answer why it’s happening *now*. Cell phones? ”

    What doesn’t make sense? I’m saying that the polling anomolies and assumptions being made that favor Obama consistently poll afer poll after poll month after month, are far beyond what could be expected in random events. When you combine that with the insanely (most extreme I’ve ever seen) one sided coverage Obama has received from the major networks throughout the entire campaign (the same networks that release many of the polls), that makes a random excuse even less plausible. Could there be a relationship? I think you have to be extremely partisan or indifferent to think that the two events happening together are just coincidence. Especially when you consider that nightly news air time is not cheap yet they have been presenting the same or similar narritive night after night for most of the year. Sometimes this narritive is obvious and sometimes it is not as obvious. Either way, the message is clear. Obama is the popular good guy and Romney is along the lines of is the evil bafoon.

    So the question is why would they do this? What’s the incentive for all the major media outlets to present the same narrative for so long? Obviously I can’t provide a definitive answer. And if you expect one, you probably should stop reading now. What I can do is follow the money/power trail and make educated gusses. I don’t buy that there is a systematic error that seems to creep up in all the polling that happens time after time over months of polling. I give these guys more credit. They’re smarter and care more than what that excuse would imply. So eliminate that. What else? Money or conrtol/power. We can argue the merits of Rush Limbaugh on the issues but one thing I cannot argue with is when he says its almost always it’s about the money. Even when they say it’s not about the money, it’s still about the money. So let’s look at the money. We know this about the money the last 4 years.

    1. The Fed (along with unending support from Obama and his Treasury Secretary) have embarked on an endless campaing of spending that targets the stock market. Gone are the days whe price discovery controlled markets and replaced with a few government officials to determine direction. Biggest cronies market in history. Trillions of dollars pumped into stocks the last 4 years that in theory trickle down through the corporations to individuals they hire. This has failed to benefit most americans with better jobs, rising wages and economic recovery but what it has done is inflate the value coporate stocks as well as stock options of individuals with them in the companies not to mention exacerbate inflation(food, clothing, gas), trash the value of your savings, and take interest rates and fixed income assets to essentially zero (can you say too bad for seniors?). What it’s done is favor the wealthy over the average citizen. Hence the widening of the gap between rich and poor. There has been little if any trickle down from the wealthy to the average citizen (one could argue 401K are an example of trickle down but really their benefit is limited – a) most people don’t have them b) even if you do you’re not likely to spend it). Tax cuts that supposedly favor the rich are nothing in comparison to the money being spent in stocks and that has been spent in bailouts.

    2. “Tax reform” is coming. And cries for taxing all americans is coming from the same people you say are contributing these vast sums to Romney’s campaign. Obviously there’s a disconnect here. These very companies have benefitted at the trough of public dollars for 4 years. Now they think all americans should pony up more taxes. Obviously this message would not help get Obama reelected now so they wait..


    There was another letter written in Aug about saying then same thing.

    4. Employees at Disney (abc) and Time Warner (cnn) are among the biggest contributors to Obamas 2012 camapign. NBC cannot be far behind given the zeal of their liberal coverage. How many ways can you disguise campaign contributions? I would imagine there are many ways to stay off the radar.


    I could go on. The point is, we can never know for sure why these groups are shilling so heavily for democrats this election cycle but they are. I believe the money/power trail is the most plausible reason. These corporations have benefited a lot from stimulus spending to target stocks and Obamas bailouts. Romney has already mentiioned he would not renew Bernanke tenure as Fed Chair so that leaves a gaping hole in the stimulus plans. This has to be seen as threat to some in the government that see stimulus spending as critical and essential. This means that stocks of corporations would no longer benefit from stimulus money, wall street no longer benefits from stimulus money, europe may no longer beneit and the list goes on. That’s a pretty big list and one that like does not go down without a fight as we perhaps have been seeing through propaganda on the media outlets.


  10. Blue Dog Dem
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    12 of the top 100 newspapers (based on circulation) have switched their endorsements from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012. By circulation:

    The Daily News (New York, NY) 579,636
    Newsday (Long Island, NY) 397,973
    Houston Chronicle (TX) 384,007
    Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX) 195,455
    Orlando Sentinel (FL) 173,576
    Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 165,974
    The Tennessean (Nashville, TN) 118,589
    The Des Moines Register (IA) 101,915
    Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) 99,670
    Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) 94,016
    Press-Telegram (Los Angeles County, CA) 82,556
    Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI) 83,083

    • Tedley
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      While I’m not sure many individual endorsements change many votes (although WI & IA may be exceptions) – I think the real story here is this. We are supposed to believe that Bamster will get a better D+? this time than in 2008, but he is getting a 12% down in votes among his absolutely biggest supporters – the MSM. Just silly to even consider.

      • Mass liberty
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Someone correct me if I am wrong. But aren’t endorsements made based on a majority vote of the board of editors?

        I am less concerned about what it means regarding swaying readers in the general public after the endorsement. I am more interested in what this reflects of the shift that already exists. Especially since newspaper editors are predominantly liberal to moderate.

        Lets take for example a situation. In 2008, they vote to support Obama 6-4. Now they vote Romney 6-4. Even given that worst case scenario, it projects to a 20% shift among mod-lib voters. Is it conceivable that newspaper libs shifting would not also apply to general pop?

      • Blue Dog Dem
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Tedley and Mass liberty, I think you’re both right. Newspaper endorsements aren’t in any way a reliable barometer of electorate/vote percentages. But the number of switches does strongly suggest a larger overall shift in attitude.

  11. Stephen1965
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love this site! Found it while reading about Nevada. Visit every 10 minutes. Also a New Yorker, lost power this week and relocated until yesterday. Amazing that NY Daily News, NY Newsday, NY Observer and NY Post all endorsed Romney. Astounding to see. No way Romneynlosesnthis election. You can feel it.

  12. jvnvch
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    Surprising endorsement, but welcome. Just might make enough of a difference in Wisconsin to help turn it red, in a squeaker.

  13. Svigor
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Am I off base in assuming some of these endorsements have as much to do with the paper’s reputation as with who they want to see elected? I.e., picking the 0 when he’s about to go down big might make them look silly?

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