- President Donald Trump has received only six endorsements from major newspapers for his reelection, as of Nov 2.
- Meanwhile, more than 40 news outlets have endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
- Newspaper endorsements have historically helped undecided voters choose a candidate.
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Only six major American newspapers have endorsed President Donald Trump for reelection, far below the dozens of publications that have announced their support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“For all his flaws, Donald J. Trump stands in forceful contrast to the relentless progressive attacks on this nation that deny and minimise the advances we have made over the decades to better reflect and honour our founding ideals,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s editorial board wrote. “He deserves a second term.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal â€” owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a GOP mega-donor and casino magnate who has poured millions into Trump’s reelection effort â€” had also endorsed Trump back in 2016. The New York Post hadn’t, although it endorsed Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries. The Colorado Springs Gazette and Boston Herald did not endorse any candidate in 2016 and The Spokesman Review went for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has supported since 1972.
“Donald Trump is a bully and a bigot,” The Spokesman Review’s editorial board wrote in their 2020 endorsement. “We recommend voting for him anyway because the policies that Joe Biden and his progressive supporters would impose on the nation would be worse.”
The University of California Santa Barbara tracks major newspaper endorsements, which it defines as the largest 100 newspapers by circulation. UCSB’s American Presidency Project also cited an editorial by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette as a Trump endorsement, but its publisher told Insider that the paper declined to explicitly endorse either candidate.
Nonetheless, the editorial raised many questions about Biden and offered reasons to support Trump. It concludes: “If Biden wins and the Democrats take the Senate and end the filibuster rule–and along with a Democratic House pass much of the radical far left agenda–will Biden really veto it? We doubt it. A vote for Trump instead of Biden might be the best check on that becoming a reality in America.”
By this stage in the election cycle, most voters have already made up their mind on who they will tick at the ballot box. Whether newspaper endorsements impact electoral outcomes remains up for debate, but they have typically been made to help nudge those who are still undecided toward a candidate. Historically, newspapers tended to favour Republican nominees, though in recent decades the numbers have balanced out.
Though most editorial boards have already stood by Biden, who’s gained more than 40 major endorsements thus far. His support comes from a slew of major city newspapers as well as national outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Correction: A previous version of this article said that the Arkansas Democrat Gazette endorsed President Donald Trump. Its editorial cited many reasons to support Trump and oppose Biden, but it did not endorse the president.