this non-partisan chart, the circulation of the papers among the nation's 100 largest that are backing Obama is now 8.6 million, vs. 4.3 million for Romney, with 32 nods for the president and 24 for the challenger (of course, many are in states that are not being hotly contested). Among the latest: In key swing state Ohio, the Cincinnati Enquirer, usually Republican, backed Romney--but also Sen. Sherrod Brown. However, the Toledo Blade went for Obama. In another battleground, the Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed Romney.
The Detroit Free Press picked Obama (balancing the Romney-backing of the Detroit News). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Buffalo News both chose Obama, as did the Hartford Courant and the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. and the paper in Lexington, Ky. The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City went for Romney.
UPDATE #2 Kansas City Star latest big city paper to back Obama.
Blow to Obama tonight, with the key paper in Iowa, the Des Moines Register, endorsing Romney, in a bit of surprise. The paper has not backed a Republican for 40 years--backing (ouch) Nixon. Remember, this was the paper that complained when Obama said their interview with him was off the record (after they went public, he relented). Did they resent it? Their editorial said, “Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal
course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington
and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the
same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.” Read it all, for a good laugh.
Note: By now, a very large number of Iowans have already voted.
UPDATE #1 Margaret Sullivan, the NYT's fine new public editor, interviewed me earlier this re: the value of newspaper endorsements, and her Sunday column, with a quote or two from me is now posted. It coincides with the Times endorsing Obama, "enthusiastically."
Earlier: I've been tracking all of the major newspaper endorsements here and at The Nation (following my practice since 2000) and most papers will have made their picks by Sunday, although some wait until the final weekend. Until now, the endorsements have been split, with Obama getting the edge in the number of larger papers, and Romney earning some key switches from papers that backed Obama in 2008.
This chart for the top 100 papers finds Obama with 23 endorsees to Romney's 18, and a nice edge in circulation numbers--and with backing from NYT not included last time I checked.
The San Jose Mercury-News today endorsed Obama, as it had in 2008. This is not reflected in chart mentioned above. Ditto: for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Miami Herald, in a key move, also has endorsed Obama: "In the end, Mr. Obama’s policies across the board — the environment,
social policy, taxes and immigration — offer a more generous vision for
America. The issues he has fought for, coupled with the lingering doubts
about Mr. Romney’s persona and his true intentions, make this a clear
choice." The Daily News in Los Angeles has backed Romney but the San Francisco Chronicle today went for the president.
The Chicago Tribune--often hard to predict--has endorsed native son Barack Obama for president. The paper, once rigidly conservative, is again owned by Republicans but still backs the president. As it admits, "On questions of economics and limited government, the Chicago Tribune
has forged principles that put us closer to the challenger in this race,
Republican Mitt Romney. We write with those principles clearly in our
minds. Romney advocates less spending, less borrowing -- overall, a less
costly and less intrusive role for government in the lives of the
governed." But his deficit plan is not good, and Obama's foreign policy views much better.