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In the Morning Papers, Endorsements Start Arriving

Rosalind Helderman

The editorial boards of Virginia's newspapers are starting to make their endorsements for governor.

The Daily Press this morning backed Republican Bob McDonnell. So did Inside Nova, which includes both the Manassas News-Messenger and the Potomac News. Also endorsing McDonnell this weekend were the Winchester Star and the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record.

The Washington Post's editorial board endorsed Democrat Creigh Deeds this morning.

Do newspaper endorsements matter?

They give candidate's good fodder for local ads where the papers circulate, but the conventional wisdom is that they rarely affect the outcomes of elections. One exception, it is now agreed, was likely the June primary election, when the Post board's endorsement of Deeds helped give him the momentum that propelled him to victory over Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe.

But of course, that was a Democratic electorate, so the voice of an editorial board that often expresses views in-line with the party's positions, might have carried particular weight. Plus, there was the surprise factor. The Post picked Deeds, whom polls had shown in third place, over the two guys who hailed from Northern Virginia.

The only endorsement that has come out so far in advance of the General Election that might be considered something of a surprise is the Daily Press, which backed Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine in 2005. But the nod isn't a entirely out of their recent endorsement patterns--the paper backed John McCain for president last year.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 18, 2009; 11:49 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Good post.

The Post editorial board should read the Daily Press's endorsement. They've got a lot to learn about persuasion. Regardless of which side you come down on, the Daily Press's endorsement touches on the important issues. The Post, though, ignored charter schools. Bizarre, given their prior interest in it.

The Daily Press's endorsement also takes a much more circumspect look at McDonnell's political career. Instead of the simple-minded hasty generalization that McDonnell's a culture warrior, and the thesis proves it, the Daily Press considered his whole record and concluded that a more moderate, pragmatic McDonnell developed over his 18-year political career and is now ready to serve as Virginia's governor.,0,832754.story

Posted by: OlMcCreedy | October 18, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

since wapo is a dnc product...
nobody cares...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about the other papers, but WaPo's endorsement is so slanted and biased that it doesn't carry much weight anymore. Sure, during the Democratic primaries it may have helped Deeds. You had what amounted to DNC elitists at WaPo telling the party faithful who they wanted as the nominee and the faithful went along. WaPo's endorsement in this race was known several months ago when Deeds won the primary. Heck, we knew back in 2001 who they were going to endorse in 2009. In fact, I can tell you who they will be endorsing the next 5 gubernatorial, congressional, and presidential elections: the candidates with the D next to their names. Their lack of balance and objectivity makes WaPo's endorsements too predictable. If they ever decide to restore some journalistic integrity, then maybe it will mean something.

Posted by: conservativemaverick | October 18, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Serious question - how many of the Post editorial board members are actually Virginia residents? Might more of an impact if the people writing the endorsement actually had to be affected by the policies adopted by the Commonwealth. My guess is most of them are Maryland elitists, so their opinion should matter as much as any other out of state person.

Posted by: OldVirginian | October 18, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more interested in the National Enquirer endorsement than I am in the Compost endorsement. There can't be 8 people left who take the pay for white house influence Compost seriously at this point..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 18, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

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