Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
We measure which candidates newspapers endorse in state and federal elections from 1940 to 2002. One sample focuses on the largest circulation newspapers in the United States from 1940 to 2002. A second sample examines 65 newspapers, representing all regions of the country, over the period 1986 to 2002. We document two important features of newspaper endorsements. First, newspapers have shifted from strongly favoring Republicans in the 1940s and 1950s, to dividing their editorial endorsements roughly equally between the parties. Today, Democratic candidates are about 10 percent more likely to receive an endorsement than Republican candidates. Second, newspaper editorials have come to favor heavily those already in o±ce. Incumbents today receive the endorsement about 90 percent of the time. In the 1940s, incumbents received endorsements only about 60 percent of the time. The consequence of this shift, we estimate, is to increase incumbents' vote margins, on average, .2 to 1 percentage points.
Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 1, 4, 393-404.