In these days of hardened political positions and massive voter interest, presidential endorsements offered by newspaper editors are of little functional use (other than by the parakeets whose cages they ultimately line). But perhaps they give us an additional insight into how certain communities are processing this race.
While the race for the White House is neck and neck, the race to win endorsements from newspapers is a flat-out landslide. John Kerry leads in every category. A total of 128 newspapers have offered their endorsements of John Kerry as compared to 105 that have done so for Bush. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
When it comes to the total circulation of the newspapers, Kerry leads by about 6 million (16.9 million to 10.9 million). Again, if we reduce that total endorsement circulation of nearly 27 million to just those who actually read the endorsements, and then reduce it from there to those who will let those endorsements affect their final decisions, we are down to about 11 people. And of those, fewer than ten percent can be expected to effectively process the information down to an appropriate level of granularity (in other words, at least ten of those readers will be unable to determine who is in fact being endorsed).
The President has picked up a total of four endorsements from newspapers that backed Gore in 2000. Kerry, on the other hand, has picked up a whopping 36 endorsements from newspapers that backed Bush in 2000.
We’re also seeing endorsements from outlets that have never before felt compelled to make a pick one way or the other. For example, The New Yorker offered an endorsement of Kerry even though they had never backed either candidate in any past election. Being extremely literate and backing Kerry seems to be a redundancy the likes of which is rarely seen in the pages of the New Yorker (imagine Bill Maher coming out in favor of supermodels or Alan Keyes endorsing the right of those with severe mental illnesses to run for a major office on the GOP ticket). Apparently Remnick and Co felt they needed to shore up support in the waiting rooms of several hundred Manhattan Freudian analysts (there was, before this endorsement, one undecided patient on the Upper East Side threatening to support Bush as a way of getting back at his mother).*
What’s next? Endorsements from High Times and Guns and Ammo?
*On the small chance that he is googling himself, let me make it clear that I kid Remnick only because I desperately want a gig at the New Yorker and this is my way of shouting and murmuring about it.
Update: Looks like they beat me to the punch. Both Ammo and High have already made their endorsements:
From Guns and Ammo:
In addition to the mondo problems I have with Kerry’s uberliberal senatorial voting record, his DD augmented recollections of his tour of duty in Vietnam, his “let’s appease the terrorists” plan, his undulating Euro-booty kissing, another big reason I am decisively blowing Kerry off is because I prize the time I get to spend shooting, hunting and gun collecting. Kerry and his supporting cast want to tread on my pursuit of cordite happiness and I don’t like it.
Man, last time I combined undulating Euro-booty kissing with the pursuit of cordite happiness was when a kid from my junior high figured out how to descramble the Playboy Channel.
And From High Times:
HELP, I’M STONED, WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR?
Short Answer: John Kerry