Monday, October 25, 2004

Editor & Publisher keeps a running tally on newspaper endorsements for the two candidates. Kerry currently leads Bush by a 128 to 105 count. However, Kerry clearly surpasses Bush when it comes to the circulation of the supporting newspapers, by a 16.9 million to 10.9 million count.

This tid-bit is somewhat interesting since it tends to reflect the electoral map vs. popular vote dichotomy. On sheer number of endorsements, Kerry beats Bush by 22%, however when you weight such endorsements by circulation Kerry is ahead by a whopping 55%. Many of Bush's endorsements are from smaller town papers. If you look at the electoral map, on an absolute basis Bush wins more of the 50 states than Kerry. Yet, it's the population that counts (similar to the newspaper circulation). What's the point of capturing five states with a total population of say 2 mil., when one state has 30 mil.? Yes, obvious points, but I only mention this because the 55% circulation lead is not getting publicized as much as the 22% absolute number lead.

Also, many on the right simply dismiss this endorsement lead by Kerry as the old "what do you expect from the liberal media?!" Yet, perhaps most telling in this regard are those papers which endorsed Bush in 2000 and in this election have flip-flopped, endorsing Kerry instead. So far, 35 papers that endorsed Bush in 2000 have jumped to Kerry. How many papers that endorsed Gore in 2000 have sided with Bush in this election? Just four. And this doesn't count many right-leaning papers like The Tampa Tribune, which has decided not to endorse either candidate. The Tribune had endorsed a Republican ever since 1952, with one exception (1964, endorsed neither candidate).

Finally, it's interesting to see Kerry amass several endorsements in Florida to the tune of nearly 1.8 mil. in circulation, versus Bush's meager two endorsements that represent just under 130,000 in circulation. That's 130 "thousand" to Kerry's 1.8 "million" in that key swing state. Jeb to the rescue? Again??

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