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Do Newspapers' Presidential Endorsements Still Matter?

US President Barack Obama casts his early ballot on October 25, 2012 at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Chicago
US President Barack Obama casts his early ballot on October 25, 2012 at the Martin Luther King Community Center in ChicagoPhotograph by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

It’s that point in the election cycle when the editorial boards of major newspapers offer readers their attempt at a measured assessment of which candidate is better qualified to be president. President Obama is the favorite so far. In the past week he has received the endorsement of the New York Times, the L.A. Times, even the Salt Lake Tribune—the newspaper of Mitt Romney’s home state of Utah.

According to the American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara, which tracks endorsements of the top 100 major newspapers based on daily circulation, 33 newspapers with a total circulation of 8,785,527 have endorsed Obama. The 27 newspapers that have endorsed Romney have a circulation of 4,902,794.