The last Republican to gain the Register’s seal of approval was Richard Nixon in his re-election bid in 1972.
Romney’s campaign immediately flooded the Internet with Tweets and posts about the endorsment.
But, in the real scheme of things, newspaper endorsements don’t sway voters. Public opinion polls show most voters hold media is about as low a light as politicians.
“There was a time when newspaper endorsements meant something,” says Capitol Hill Blue publisher Doug Thompson, whose career as a newspaperman began in 1963 and who still reports as a contract writer and photographer for print publications, including Warren Buffet’s BH Media Group. “But not in today’s digital, Internet-driven world.”
In 2000, most newspapers endorsed Al Gore. George W. Bush won. In 2004, John Kerry won the most endorsements. Bush won again. During the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary, the majority of newspapers went with Hillary Clinton. Obama won.
Obama picked up the most newspaper endorsements in the 2008 general election but that was because most editorial boards thought McCain lost his mind when he picked Sarah Palin as a running mate.
In endorsing Romney, the Register called President Barack Obama a failure, noting:
Nothing indicates it would change with a second term in the White House. Barack Obama rocketed to the presidency from relative obscurity with a theme of hope and change. A different reality has marked his presidency. His record on the economy the past four years does not suggest he would lead in the direction the nation must go in the next four years.
Romney, the paper added, “has made rebuilding the economy his No. 1 campaign priority–and rightly so.”