The GOP might have danced to Donald Trump’s tunes, but the newspapers aren’t having it that way. The Republican presidential nominee has managed to receive zero major newspaper endorsements, a first in modern U.S. history.
While Trump would probably attribute this failure to his acrimonious relationship with the media, the fact that not even a single editorial board in the country considered Trump a suitable candidate for presidency speaks volumes about his eligibility. Newspapers covering the entire spectrum of political thought deem Donald Trump’s personality as antithetical to the core values of America, and despite what Trump might claim about how the media hates him, the fact of the matter is that even steadfastly conservative newspapers have decided not to side with him.
As for how it might affect the voters themselves, Jack Pitney, a professor of government at California’s Claremont McKenna College, thinks that moderate Republicans who are still unsure if they want to vote for Trump might be greatly disillusioned with this report.
“It’s significant. The cumulative effect of all these defections could have an impact on moderate Republicans.”
Trump makes history: Zero major newspaper endorsements https://t.co/suVrUmvWaY
— SFGate (@SFGate) October 7, 2016
Out of the 40 major newspapers in circulation all over the country, 25 have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. While left-leaning newspaper outlets have unanimously endorsed Clinton, even traditionally conservative outlets have endorsed her for the presidency, breaking traditions that, in some cases, stretch as far back as the 19th century.
The Dallas Morning News, for example, which has a history of endorsing every Republican nominee since 1940, appeared so appalled by the idea of President Trump that it introduced its Clinton endorsement in the following manner.
“We don’t come to this decision easily. This newspaper has not recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II — if you’re counting, that’s more than 75 years and nearly 20 elections.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed a Democrat for the first time in 148 years by supporting Clinton, while the Houston Chronicle, Desert Sun, and the Arizona Republic all broke longstanding traditions to endorse the Democratic candidate.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board broke its almost century-long tradition of backing Republicans for the president by endorsing Clinton.
“This is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times.”
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) September 29, 2016
Such has been Trump’s unpopularity that even staunch anti-Clinton editorial boards have decided to endorse third-party candidates like Gary Johnson instead of going with Donald Trump. The Detroit News, for instance, endorsed a non-Republican for the first time in 143 years by supporting Johnson. So did the Richmond-Times Dispatch and the New Hampshire Union Leader. In total, Johnson has been able to muster seven endorsements from major newspaper organizations in America.
Other newspaper organizations, such as the Atlantic and USA Today, which tend to be bipartisan in their reports and have a history of not endorsing candidates belonging to either side of the political spectrum, have decided not to remain on the fence in 2016. These newspapers have either endorsed a candidate other than Trump or, in some cases, have even un-endorsed the Republican nominee.
USA Today’s closing statement read something like this.
“Resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) September 30, 2016
Some other newspapers have still not made an endorsement, and while it is possible one or more of them might endorse the Republican candidate before November 8, it appears highly unlikely at this stage. No informed editorial board will take the risk of standing for a candidate as duplicitous as Trump — at least not those that want to at least keep a pretense of neutrality about them.
It remains to be seen if Donald Trump can still become the next president of America despite no major newspaper endorsements, but if that does happen, he might want to sue all 40 major newspapers for not endorsing him.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]