As of today, Barack Obama leads John McCain in the newspaper endorsement race 170 to 69. Obama's major endorsements this weekend include the Hartford Courant, the St. Petersburg Times, the Providence Journal, the Anchorage Daily News, the Des Moines Register, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Baltimore Sun, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, and the Albany Times-Union. McCain picked up the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Arizona Republic.
Obama's lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205. The circulation number of newspapers which have endorsed Obama exceeds 15 million, whereas the circulation number for McCain is around 4 million.
We know that newspapers don't vote and that newspaper editors, may as a whole, but more liberal than their readers, but what is striking about this number is that George W. Bush had almost as many endorsements in 2004 as did John Kerry. Also, thirty-eight newspapers which endorsed Bush in 2004 have switched to endorsing Obama in 2008. Most notably, the Denver Post, the New Haven Register, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, the Houston Chronicle, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Wisconsin State Journal have switched from Bush to Obama. The Los Angeles Times and the Cleveland Plain Dealer did not endorse in 2004, but this year they have endorsed Obama.
The only newspapers with a circulation of over 40,000 that have endorsed McCain in 2008 after endorsing Kerry in 2004 are the Bradenton (Florida Herald (48K circulation), the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (53K circulation), and the Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia) (91K circulation). The Wasington DC Examiner (100K circulation) did not endorse in 2004, but endorsed McCain in 2008.