A piñata of presidential candidate and sideshow attraction Donald Trump. Piñata by Dalton Avalos Ramirez. Photo by Mike Licht / Flickr.

Politics

For the First Time Since 1964, the Dallas Morning News Won’t Endorse a Republican Presidential Candidate

You have to go all the way back to LBJ v. Goldwater to find an election year in which the daily didn't throw its weight behind the Republican nominee

Do newspaper endorsements matter anymore? Did they ever matter? According to a 2000 study by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, an endorsement by a minister, priest, or rabbi carries much more weight than a newspaper endorsement. A study conducted in 2012 by the Washington Post and the Pew Research Center found that newspaper endorsements do little to sway most voters.

But then, maybe it depends on who you ask and how you ask the question. In 2008, Catherine Rampell argued in the New York Times that newspaper endorsements matter only when they run counter to conventional expectations. For example, Rampell cites another study of the 2000 election that showed that the least persuasive newspaper endorsements came from papers that typically endorse candidates from either party. According to that study, the New York Times and the Dallas Morning News published the least credible endorsements because both papers have a long track record of endorsing Democrats and Republicans, respectively. In fact, the last time the Dallas Morning News didn’t endorsement the Republican nominee was way back in 1964. That year, the paper’s publisher and editor were split between LBJ and Goldwater, and so the DMN decided not to print any endorsement.

Which is why today’s publication in the Dallas Morning News of a two-part presidential endorsement is so monumental. For the first time in a half-century the DMN has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate. In fact, the first part of the paper’s two-part endorsement focuses entirely on making the argument that Donald Trump is not a true Republican. I expect part two will make a measured case for Hilary Clinton.

So will the unexpectedness of this endorsement sway Dallas Republicans away from Trump? Perhaps it won’t matter. According to new polls, Trump risks losing Texas in November. Texas, which has not elected a Democrat to a statewide office in 20 years, is now a toss up in this election.

And 2016 continues its strange ways.

Comments

  • Greg Brown

    What is a Republican? That is something their leadership cannot even decide upon.

  • JohnMyroro

    A historical note: the DMN was opposed to Social Security, Medicare (socialized medicine!), the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Oh, and they preferred that 20 million Americans and over one million Texans were better off without the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
    It thought that Nixon was better than JFK (and Hubert Humphrey), that G.H.W. Bush was better than Clinton, as was Bob Dole, that W. (!) was more qualified than Al Gore and John Kerry, and that both John McCain and Millard Romney were to be preferred over Barack Obama as presidential.
    Such an illustrious track record.

  • Jennifer Norris

    I know what a Republican is. And Donald Trump is not one.

    • S. Hollingsworth

      I agree!

  • Founders1791

    Bias Alert!

    “New” Editor of the paper is Democrat Mike Wilson who previously worked for Democrat Nate Silver at 538, as well as for Democrat Tampa Bay Times

    Never trust anything be independent verify for yourself

    • disqus_L6L4JxPDcG

      It’s an endorsement and an editorial. Both those things should tip you off.

    • GlennHunter

      New flash: Hillary is not going to win Texas. But, the DMN “recommendation” is no surprise. The paper is most comfortable with country club, PC-friendly, open-border-style Republicans (and Democrats) and has hammered Trump in both news and editorial pages from the get-go. Here’s the paper’s Robert Garrett in a July “news” story: “What’s unclear is whether Trump, whose national security experience
      consists of being sent to military school in upstate New York, is
      credible when he vows to restore Americans’ sense of safety and
      well-being.” Biased … out-of-touch … irrelevant.

  • Mike McDermott

    There is nothing “unexpected” about this. Not if you’ve been following the DMSJW’s editorials for the last six months.

    Local sports coverage is the paper’s last (and only) redeeming quality.

  • Big Willie

    just cancelled my 36+ year subscription.. I would not pick up my dogs droppings with this paper

  • Darryl Smyers

    I never thought I would see the day the the DMN would endorse a democrat for POTUS. That should tell you ALL you need to know about how bad a candidate Trump is. Trump caters to the fears and the biases of the under-educated. His support consists of older, less educated white people who still yearn for the days of old. Without the support or women or minorities, Trump cannot win this election. It is that simple. Thank God.