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Who will USA Today and WSJ endorse?


Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have endorsed President Obama for reelection. The other two national publications (excluding the Christian Science Monitor) have not endorsed anyone.

And they won't.

Neither the Wall Street Journal nor USA Today make editorial endorsements for presidential candidates. Paul Gigot, editorial paged editor of WSJ, explained to American Journalism Review in 2004 why they don't do endorsements. "[W]e're just more interested in ideas, and... the degree to which a candidate associates himself with those, our enthusiasm for that candidate will come through in the editorials," he said.

Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today​, famously wrote a column for his paper in which he said newspaper endorsements were "an insult" to readers.

​The publication has an editorial today elaborating on the sentiment:

Unlike other publications, we do not presume to tell our readers which choice is right for them. We've expressed opinions on all those issues. But telling readers how to balance them is another matter. The family of a soldier in Afghanistan is likely to have different priorities from a worker struggling to find a job or a young woman trying to cope with an unwanted pregnancy. There isn't one universal right choice, even for members of our ideologically diverse Editorial Board. Nor do we care to be aligned with either party. We routinely criticize both and try to point a path to consensus, because if Congress does not find one soon, few American lives will be unharmed. ...

So our advice to voters is this: Stay true to your convictions, whether or not they happen to match ours, but vote for the candidates who you believe will respect the voters' choice and govern, not just shout from the ideological ramparts in the false belief that they can win all at once.

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