The calculus of editorial choice
Abad, Eli Joseph
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While much attention has been paid to newspaper endorsements and their effects on vote choice, little attention has been paid to the endorsement process and the factors that editorial boards use when assessing candidates. This study develops a very basic theory and tests hypotheses that suggest editorial boards consider a number of candidate level factors during the endorsement process. Editorial behavior in the 2008 Republican and Democratic presidential nomination campaigns was the focus of this examination. Logistic regression analysis of the 2008 data suggests that both Democratic and Republican candidates trailing in national polls are less likely to accrue editorial support. For both models, ideological congruence between candidate and newspaper is the best explanatory variable for editorial choice. The more a candidate and a newspaper board agree on salient issues, the more likely that candidate will receive the newspaper’s endorsement. These findings suggest editorial choice is based on certain identifiable factors relating to the support levels and issue stances of the candidate. In other words, newspaper endorsements are generally quite predictable events.