Politics

Romney, Nelson, Yes on Retention Top Once-Powerful Newspaper Endorsements

By: Jim Turner | Posted: October 30, 2012 3:55 AM

Newspaper Endorsements
The majority of Florida newspapers have given their endorsement to Republican Mitt Romney, with national attention going to the opinions cast from the Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Tribune papers four years ago were behind President Obama (as was Florida Today, which also flipped), but this time expressed “little confidence” that Obama would show any improvement in his fiscal management of the federal economy.

Of endorsements already in, the Florida Times-Union, Florida Today, Naples Daily News, Pensacola News Journal and Tampa Tribune have also voiced their opinion for the challenger.

The Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald have remained with the incumbent.

(Scroll down to see a paper-by-paper list of endorsements.)

There are many people who criticize the pomposity of newspapers to weigh in on the political races, often from those backing the candidate that wasn't endorsed.

Still, in part because of such complaints, a number of papers choose no longer to make candidate recommendations.  The Daytona Beach-based Halifax Media Group -- owner of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Gainesville Sun, Lakeland Ledger, Winter Haven News Chief, Panama City News Herald, Northwest Florida Daily News, Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Ocala Star Banner -- asked its properties to make such a decision following the August primary.

The Ledger editorial board, in accepting the view of its boss, wrote that the decision was "to prevent a perception of bias in political races."  As with many of the other Halifax papers, the Ledger has chimed in on proposed amendments to Florida's Constitution.

At the same time, you have to wonder about newspaper editorial boards that remain in a pre-2000 mindset, holding back their endorsements until the final week of the campaign now that most voters cast ballots weeks earlier through absentee balloting and early voting.

Several editorial boards were also hesitant in a number of backyard races to make endorsements.

The Orlando Sentinel literally took “a pass” on the U.S. House District 5 contest featuring Democrat Alan Grayson’s bid to return to Washington.

The Central Florida paper did back U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, yet her hometown paper, the Times-Union, opted against making a recommendation for the seat.

Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post decided to make no recommendation in the contest between Adam Hasner and Lois Frankel, saying neither offers “serious proposals.”

Statewide, the editorial boards at newspapers were more in line with the old guard of the left in the U.S. Senate contest between Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Naples.  

Even the Tampa Tribune backed Nelson, saying in part that Mack has “run an uninspiring campaign.”

The print boards were in line in their support to retain the three Florida Supreme Court justices that are up for election.

As for the 11 constitutional amendments before voters, the brain power for the papers were more scattered.

The Miami Herald, Florida Times-Union, Palm Beach, Pensacola News Journal, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and Tampa Bay Times joined the Florida League of Women Voters in opposing every amendment proposed by the Republican-dominated state Legislature.

But others found merit with the tax-saving proposals or some of the socially focused proposals.

How they opined:

Miami Herald

President: Obama

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congress District 26: Garcia ‘by default’

U.S. Congress District 27: Ros-Lehtinen ‘has served with distinction’

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes on all three

Bradenton Herald

President:  No recommendation being made

U.S. Congressional District 17: Rooney support of agriculture serves East Manatee interest

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 2, 9, 10, 11.  No on 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12

Citrus County Chronicle

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 11: Rich Nugent

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 2, 10, 11.  No on 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes for all three

Daytona Beach News-Journal

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Florida Times-Union

President: Romney

U.S. Congressional 3: Ted Yoho    

U.S. Congressional 5: no recommendation

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes for all three

Florida Today

President: Romney

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 8: Bill Posey

Hernando Today

U.S. Congressional 10: Rich Nugent

Lakeland Ledger

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 2, 9, 10, 11.  No on 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12

Naples Daily News / Bonita Daily News

President: Romney

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional District 19: Trey Radel

U.S. Congressional District 25: Mario Diaz-Balart

Constitutional Amendments: No on 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12.  Yes on 2, 4, 9, 11.

Northwest Florida Daily News

Constitutional Amendments: Yes 3, 4, 8, 10.  No on 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12.

Orlando Sentinel

President: Romney

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 5: Corrine Brown

U.S. Congressional 7: John Mica

U.S. Congressional 9: “This year we’ll pass”

U.S. Congressional 10: Dan Webster

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 4, 11.  No on 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12

Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes for all three

Palm Beach Post

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 18: Patrick Murphy

U.S. Congressional 21: Ted Deutch

U.S. Congressional 22: No recommendation Hasner-Frankel

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes for all three

Panama City News Herald

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 3, 10. No on 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12.

Pensacola News Journal

President: Romney

U.S. Senate: Nelson

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes for all three

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 10.  No on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12.   Yes or No on 9

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

President: Romney

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 20: Ted Duetch

U.S. Congressional 21: Alcee Hastings

U.S. Congressional 22: Adam Hasner

U.S. Congressional 23: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Florida Senate 34: Ellyn Bogdanoff

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 4, 11. No on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes on all three

St. Augustine Record

U.S. Congressional 6: Ron DeSantis

Stuart News, Port St. Lucie News, Vero Beach Press Journal

U.S. Congressional 8: Rickard Gilmore, independent over Bill Posey, R-Rockledge

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Tallahassee Democrat

U.S. Congressional 2: Al Lawson

Florida Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes on all three

Tampa Bay Times

President: Obama

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 11: Rich Nugent

U.S. Congressional 13: C.W. Bill Young

U.S. Congressional 14: Kathy Castor

U.S. Congressional 17: Tom Rooney

Constitutional Amendments: No on all

Florida Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes on all three

Tampa Tribune

President: Romney

U.S. Senate: Nelson

U.S. Congressional 12: Gus Bilirakis

U.S. Congressional 14: Kathy Castor

U.S. Congressional 17: Tom Rooney

Constitutional Amendments: Yes on 2, 6, 9, 11.  No on 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Retention: Yes for all three

Venice Gondolier Sun

U.S. Congressional 16: Vern Buchanan



Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.



Comments (0)

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.