Monday, October 30, 2006

Do endorsements matter ... part 2

The consensus answer about journalists appears to be yes. Two area bloggers have weighed in on this topic with their own blog enteries. If you are interested in this topic it is worth your time to read these.

First up, Tony Messenger at the Springfield News-Leader. His Sunday column on this topic was well reasoned.

Tony had several comments that should be repeated here. First:

Well, I can speak only for myself, but I believe the process is important. I don't make editorial endorsements because I have any intention of predicting the winners. I don't make editorial endorsements because I expect to have a serious effect on voting patterns. I make them because I believe it's an important part of the political process.

And then this conclusion:

Finally, the editorial endorsement, I believe, is important in what it says about the newspaper's philosophy.

Who we endorse, and why we endorse them, says a lot about what we believe as an editorial staff. It helps us decide among ourselves what values are important, and it helps define for our readers who we believe we are.

In effect, the end result is of less importance than the process.

We don't have a vested interest in who wins and which party gains power. For us, it's not a horse race and it's not a basketball pool.

Second, Randy Turner of the Turner Report gives an example from his own experience.

Randy's comments on the subject are best summed up in his conclusion when he writes:

I would say they are still important, but nowhere near as important as they were in the past. They are not going to have any effect on those who made up their minds before the race got underway. Those who are going to vote for Democratic candidates no matter what are not going to change, and the same applies for those who are only going to vote for Republican candidates. For those whose minds are not made up, a well-reasoned endorsement could make a difference, especially if the editorial board that makes that endorsement goes about the process in an evenhanded fashion.

Would you still like to weigh in? Your comments here are welcome.


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