How much do newspaper endorsements matter? It's hard to measure the influence of an ed board in a political contest, but hopefully some day an enterprising academic will examine the correlation between successful local candidates and the endorsements of local rags. At the very least, however, people who normally agree with their paper's editorials may look to the ed board for guidance in races in which they don't know enough to distinguish between the two candidates.
The Madison mayoral race is a prime example. Two candidates, generally left-of-center. What to do? Righties might look to the State Journal:
Eight years ago, when these two men first met on city ballots, the State Journal endorsed the more business-savvy Soglin over the idealist environmentalist Cieslewicz. But Cieslewicz has evolved during his two terms in office. He's learned from his mistakes and become more pragmatic - without surrendering his core values.
Similarly, some lefties will look to the Cap Times in figuring out who the progressive candidate is:
While both candidates have much to offer, Soglin offers precisely the mix of organizing and managerial skills that Madison needs at this point.
The Cap Times also endorsed Soglin in 2003.
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