Newspaper Endorsements Begin

Newspapers from around the state have begun rolling out their endorsements of candidates in advance of the Aug. 10 Primary. We’ll be keeping track of these endorsements after the jump (and please help out in the comments section).

How important are these endorsements? That depends entirely on what you do with them; newspaper endorsements are only as useful as a campaign makes them out to be. Endorsements from a variety of larger-name newspapers can look good on a TV or radio ad, for example, and can help give the impression that a candidate has support from across the state. Obviously, this kind of strategy is more important for an underdog candidate, but even a frontrunner can benefit from this kind of “third-party validation.” Outside of a campaign using the endorsement in paid media, these endorsements have little impact.

Now, on to the endorsements…

Newspaper* Endorsement List for U.S. Senate Primary

*Note that we are only listing daily newspapers or large weeklies — we’re not going to try to keep track of small community newspapers.


Michael Bennet

  • The Durango Herald

  • The main Denver newspaper (rhymes with “toast”)

    Andrew Romanoff

  • The Colorado Springs Independent

    Jane Norton

  • The Durango Herald

  • The main Denver newspaper (rhymes with “toast”)
  • Ken Buck

  • The Colorado Springs Independent explicitly did not “endorse” Buck, but “recommended” him over Norton
  • 31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    1. CityParkRebel says:

      These endorsements are really a big win for Bennet.  As ballots start arriving in mailboxes, people will be turning to newspapers like the Post and Herald for guidance.

      This is another boost to Bennet’s campaign just when it matters most.

      Have noticed that Romanoff his not only continued his negative, shallow attacks on Bennet but is attacking the Post too.  

      Smart play, Andy.  Smart play.

      • StrykerK2 says:

        Please find something, anything to back up your claim.  I’ll save you the trouble — I’m pretty sure you’re just making it up.

        And you really think people turn to the Post for shit?  I mean maybe literally shit.  It functions as a rough toilet paper in a pinch, but that’s about it.  I would think the editor of Pols would tend to agree on that point 😉

        • CityParkRebel says:

          Heard Romanoff on Sirota this morning bashing the Post.

          Regardless, Bennet is gaining speed just when it matters most.

        • Voyageur says:

          The Denver Post’s endorsement is meaningless and won’t affect any votes.

          The Colorado Springs Independent, on the other hand, is stupendously important, a real game changer, and about wraps it up for AR.

            Is that about right?

          • MADCO says:

            Recall- the Post didn’t endorse Bennet until after Romanoff announced.

          • JeffcoTrueBlue says:

            Did you read both the p*&st endorsement and the CS Indy? The Indy gave a long thought out analysis of both and in the end made a very compelling argument for Romanoff. The P&^st said Bennet has not been very independent and has been disappointing but they really think he might change and become good. Their basis for that? His “success” reforming DPS which there are a lot of questions about and his “brilliance” with the DPS budget which there are also a lot of questions about. So a newspaper that has advocated for school vouchers and charter schools likes Bennet and the same paper who advocates more free-market capitalism and financial wizardry likes what Bennet learned to do to people at Anschutz? Yea, OK, ringing endorsement.

    2. MADCO says:

      JIT for  ballots to go in the mail, the big paper endorsed in both the D & R primaries.

      They endorsed Bennet – as do I – and  Norton.   Comparing the two endorsements it strikes me that if we get Norton/Bennet they will endorse Norton, though that comparison may be useless – in 2008 editorial board member Chuck Plunkett endorsed Hillary Clinton in the primary and then endorsed McCain in the general which seemed quite the reversal since Clinton and Obama were a lot closer on most issues than Clinton and McCain.

      I’m not sure whether the major paper’s  endorsement helps or hurts a candidate.  The comments online are somewhat telling.

      Anyhoo- the D nominee will have my support whichever it is, since both are way closer to me on the key issues of the moment than either R candidate.  ( more on that later)  

      • Voyageur says:

        The Post endorsed Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney in their respective primaries.  Obviously, it couldn’t go for both parties in the general.  In the general election, The Post endorsed Obama.  Whatever plunkett or other staffers may have written about a given candidate were their opinions, not those of the Editorial Board.  

        • MADCO says:

          Which IIIRC Plunket referenced in his non-endorsement endorsement.

          • Voyageur says:

            But as I recall, Plunkett didnt do anything for Hillary, just McCain. The paper, after all, had endorsed Hillary and there would have been no point to Plunkett saying nice things about her too.  The McCain piec e was different The paper sometimes has an edit staffer give the losing side on a big endorsement.  Bob Ewegen and Julia Martinez did a column supporting John Kerry the same day the Post ran its George W. Bush endorsement.  There was a demonstration the next day protesting the endorsement and some signs read: “We love you, Bob and Julia.”  ‘  

    3. ajb says:

      I liked this quote:

      Of those who knew their newspaper’s endorsement, 1 percent said it played a “great deal” and 10 percent said it played “somewhat” of a role in their voting decision. “Of that 11 percent, about a quarter had the endorsement wrong.”

      And this:

         “Newspaper endorsements tend to count for lower offices and offices people don’t know much about,” argues Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, of the University of Southern California. After all, it’s hard for voters to get in-depth information about candidates for smaller races, such as city councils.

      • ohwilleke says:

        The less the public knows about the candidates, the more endorsements matter.

        But, since it is much harder to distinguish candidates in a primary, than in a general election where party labels provide helpful insights into candidate’s political positions, and because primary voters are more likely to be newspaper readers than general election voters, endorsements can matter a great deal in primaries, especially in the bottom on the ticket races and on low profile ballot issues.

        Also, a lot of people who aren’t influenced by endorsements were committed to one candidate or the other very early in the race.  The relevant question is not what percentage of all likely voters are influenced by newspaper endorsements, but what percentage of not fully decided likely voters are influenced by newspaper endorsements.  If 11% of all likely voters are influenced by newspaper endorsements then that may be a very large share of all not full decided voters.

        An endorsement matters at least as much as many other influences on a voter, like actual candidate policy positions (as opposed to perceived ones), endorsements, and campaign advertising (and by association, campaign fundraising).

    4. StrykerK2 says:

      Let’s take a look.  

      From the Colorado Springs Independent Endorsement of Romanoff:

      the Democrats need someone with passion to motivate people, a fighter to take on the Tea Party movement and other angry voters, someone to fight fire with fire. Not just a deep thinker, but a tirelessly aggressive campaigner.


      Bottom line, we see Bennet as an excellent senator for the next six years and beyond. But we see Romanoff as potentially one of the premier senators and statesmen of this generation.

      From the “toast” Bennet endorsement (which I won’t quote for sake of this site’s policy): comments to the effect of “he has no independent streak” and “we only really like him because he might be a budget hawk sometime in the future, even if he isn’t doing anything now” — oh! and they like his time screwing fixing DPS (a topic that has been under much scrutiny here and over at huffington post.

    5. Arvadonian says:

      mean very little (especially in primaries) other than reinforcing minds that have already been made up.

      For instance, “I’m supporting Norton, so I’m glad to see that the (Main Denver Newspaper) agrees with me.  I like the (Main Denver newspaper).  This shows that I am smart.”

      On the other hand, if the endorsement goes against a candidate that you are supporting, it tends to reinforce a prejudice that you already had against the newspaper.

      For instance:  “I’m supporting Romanoff and the (Main Denver daily) endorsed Bennet.  This proves that the (Main Denver newspaper) is a tool of the establishment just like Bennet.  I hate the establishment, so I’m going to work even harder for Romanoff.”

      Endorsements may have a slight more pronounced impact on general elections, but on primaries, their impact cannot be understated….

    6. says:

      Article worth reading:

      Romanoff or Bennet?

      by Ed Augden in the North Denver Herald

    7. OuiserBoudreaux says:

      …Romanoff and Buck, which would have been huge!!  Maybe these two can fashion a teevee add from that?  (if they had any $$, that is)

    Leave a Reply

    Comment from your Facebook account

    You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.