The Orientation of Newspaper Endorsements in U.S. Elections, 1940–2002
Quarterly Journal of Political Science (QJPS) | 04/10/2006
We study newspaper endorsements in state and federal elections, using a new data set with two samples. One sample focuses on big-city newspapers in the United States from 1940 to 2002. A second sample examines 92 newspapers, representing all regions of the country, over the period 1986 to 2002. We document two important features of newspaper endorsements. First, newspapers have shifted from strongly favoring Republicans in the 1940s and 1950s, to dividing their editorial endorsements roughly equally between the parties. Today, Democratic candidates are about 10% more likely to receive an endorsement than Republican candidates. Second, newspaper editorials have come to favor heavily those already in office. Incumbents today receive the endorsement about 90% of the time. In the 1940s, incumbents received endorsements only about 60% of the time.
Stephen Ansolabehere, Rebecca Lessem and James M. Snyder Jr. (2006), "The Orientation of Newspaper Endorsements in U.S. Elections, 1940–2002", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 1: No. 4, pp 393-404. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00000009