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Stop the presses! A tally of newspaper endorsements for president

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are beginning to collect endorsements from major US newspapers. Some are full-throated, others tentative. In metropolitan areas, they could make a difference in the race.

By Staff writer / October 20, 2012

Customers purchase newspapers at Out of Town News in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

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NOTE: This story has been updated with new endorsements added late Saturday.

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In today’s media world – increasingly crowded with online sources of news, analysis, commentary, and opinionated bloggers – newspaper endorsements may not mean as much as they did when “the press” almost exclusively involved actual ink on paper.

But they’re watched closely nonetheless, and around the country newspapers are starting to weigh in on the major presidential candidates in Election 2012.

According to a tally of the top 100 newspapers by circulation by the American Presidency Project, Mitt Romney has collected five endorsements so far, and Obama has six. (The American Presidency Project is a nonpartisan online database of presidential messages, papers, documents, and other information.)

Romney’s newspaper supporters: The Dallas Morning News, The Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Orlando Sentinel, The Omaha World-Herald, and The [Nashville] Tennessean. Their total circulation is 1,053,356. Two of Romney’s backers – the Orlando and Nashville newspapers – endorsed Obama four years ago.

Obama has notched The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The Sacramento Bee, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Salt Lake Tribune. On Sunday, The Denver Post will endorse Obama as well. (Adding Denver’s main paper brings the total circulation for papers backing Obama to 1,458,545.)

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There undoubtedly will be many more newspaper endorsements before Election Day. In 2008, according to the American Presidency Project, there were 90 such endorsements, including 65 for Obama with a circulation of 16,099,774, and 25 for Republican John McCain with a circulation of 5,193,750.

Here’s a sampling of the endorsement editorials so far.

The Salt Lake Tribune:

“Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state…. Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: ‘Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?’ ”

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