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Obama Gains Key Newspaper Endorsements, but Polls Are Mixed | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Obama Gains Key Newspaper Endorsements, but Polls Are Mixed

It was another wild weekend in the race for the White House, just hours before the final debate and little more than two weeks before Election Day. Undecided voters probably remain perplexed—over whether to watch the big football or baseball game competing with the debate coverage tonight.

On the polling front, little evidence has emerged that Obama actually earned any “bounce” from his debate win last week.

The latest Gallup poll, from Sunday, showed Romney keeping his 7 percent lead among likely voters—but this margin is an outlier and many question its LV model. New NBC poll found the race dead even, with Obama’s margin among women just 8 percent. In new state polls today, however, the president still holds on to a 5percent lead in Ohio and the same margin in Pennsylvania.

On the newspaper endorsement front, more large newspapers seem to be breaking for Obama than his opponent. However, more papers that backed him in 2008 have dropped the president than the number that endorsed McCain and now support Obama. Of three top papers in key battleground Ohio (see below), Obama picked up Cleveland and Akron, but said goodbye to Columbus.

This chart on endorsements from the top 100 papers finds Obama surging ahead in the number of papers—and in their combined circulation.

The largest of the papers, the Los Angeles. Times, went for Obama on Sunday, but California voters—in our ridiculous and undemocratic Electoral College system—hardly matter in this race. In Arizona, where Obama has at least some shot now: Arizona Republic for Romney, but Arizona Daily Star for Obama. In still-tight North Carolina: Charlotte Observer for Obama, and also the smaller paper in Asheville.

Elsewhere Obama picked up three big ones in Denver, Tampa and, yes, the Mormon base, Salt Lake City. Ohio: Here’s more from The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. On the other hand: The Columbus Dispatch, has just backed Romney. Akron Beacon Journal goes for Obama.

In other endorsements: The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, backs Obama today. But The Tampa Tribune picks Romney, balancing the recent choice of the Tampa Bay Times for Obama. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram backs Romney. So does the Houston Chronicle. Surprisingly, both of those papers backed Obama in 2008. Doesn’t matter much in solid red Texas, but still intriguing.

The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington,chooses Romney. The Santa Fe New Mexican for Obama.

A couple of excerpts:

The Plain Dealer: “He has led the nation back from the brink of depression. Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry. Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will soon have health insurance. His Race to the Top initiative seeded many of the education reforms embodied in Cleveland’s Transformation Plan. He ended the war in Iraq and refocused the battle to disrupt al-Qaida and its terrorist allies. He ordered the risky attack inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.”

The Dispatch: “As a career businessman and former governor, Romney brings a wealth of executive experience in the private sector and the public sector that dwarfs that of Obama. From working both sides of the government/private-sector equation, he understands how that relationship can aid or impede prosperity. His election would be an immediate signal to the private sector that someone who knows what he is doing is managing the nation’s economic policy. The effect on business confidence would be dramatic and immediate, and business confidence is the vital ingredient needed to spur investment and hiring, the two things that the United States so desperately needs.”

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