It’s getting hard to keep up with the growing list of traditionally conservative newspapers that are not just dumping Trump, but are actively endorsing Hillary Clinton. The endorsements have come at the price of some cancelled subscriptions—and even an occasional death threat. Many observers say, “So what,” arguing that, in the age of social media, newspaper endorsements are less impactful than they once were.
But others say that these kinds of unexpected endorsements could make a dent in public opinion: They could shock some voters into the realization that, this time around, they are backing a highly inappropriate candidate named Donald Trump.
…a 2011 study pointed out one scenario where a newspaper editorial board may make a difference: when a newspaper bucks its own tradition.
In that study, Democratic endorsements from conservative papers seemed to have more influence than a Republican endorsement from that paper would, and the same concept applied to left-leaning papers endorsing conservative candidates.
I’m hoping that the 2011 study is correct.
Here are summaries of conservative endorsements of Hillary Clinton, from a recent article in Rolling Stone, called “Conservative Newspapers That Just Went ‘Never Trump.’:
Paper: New Hampshire Union Leader
History: Backed Every Republican presidential candidate since 1916
Headline: “A better choice for President (No need to hold your nose)”
Choice quote: “[Trump] is a liar, a bully, a buffoon. He denigrates any individual or group that displeases him. He has dishonored military veterans and their families, made fun of the physically frail, and changed political views almost as often as he has changed wives.”
Paper: Arizona Republic
History: Backed every Republican presidential candidate since its founding in 1890
Headline: “Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America ahead”
Choice quote: “The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified …. Trump responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads …. Trump’s inability to control himself … represents a real threat to our national security …. Trump’s long history of objectifying women and his demeaning comments about women during the campaign are not just good-old-boy gaffes. They are evidence of deep character flaws. They are part of a pattern …. Taken together they reveal a candidate who doesn’t grasp our national ideals …. Instead of offering solutions, he hangs scapegoats like piñatas and invites people to take a swing.”
Paper: The Dallas Morning News
History: Backed every Republican presidential candidate since 1940
Headline: “We recommend Hillary Clinton for president”
Choice quote: “Trump’s values are hostile to conservatism. He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best. His serial shifts on fundamental issues reveal an astounding absence of preparedness. And his improvisational insults and midnight tweets exhibit a dangerous lack of judgment and impulse control.”
Paper: Cincinnati Enquirer
History: Backed every Republican presidential candidate since 1916
Headline: “It has to be Hillary Clinton”
Choice quote: “Trump is a clear and present danger to our country …. His wild threats to blow Iranian ships out of the water if they make rude gestures at U.S. ships is just the type of reckless, cowboy diplomacy Americans should fear from a Trump presidency …. Do we really want someone in charge of our military and nuclear codes who has an impulse control problem? …. Trump brands himself as an outsider untainted by special interests, but we see a man utterly corrupted by self-interest. His narcissistic bid for the presidency is more about making himself great than America …. Why should anyone believe that a Trump presidency would look markedly different from his offensive, erratic, stance-shifting presidential campaign?”
Paper: Detroit News
History: Has only endorsed Republican presidential candidates since its founding in 1873The Detroit News endorsed Libertarian Gary Johnson, but in the process offered scathing criticisms of Donald Trump.
Choice quote: “Donald Trump is unprincipled, unstable and quite possibly dangerous. He can not be president …. Trump is not a conservative …. Trump has attracted support from too many of those who represent the worst of human nature …. But the most worrisome thing about Trump is that he is willing to stir the populace by stoking their fears of sinister forces at work from within and without to tear down their traditions, values and families ….
“His sort of populism has led to some of history’s great tragedies.”
And just for the sake of being fair and balanced, here’s the list of newspapers—of all political leanings—that have endorsed Donald Trump: