(Page 2 of 2)
6. So much for newspaper endorsements:
Newspaper endorsements seemed to have little impact in the governor's race, where the state's major newspapers were nearly unanimous (save for The Olympian) in endorsing McKenna over Inslee. While McKenna won the endorsement war, he lost the race. And that was even with the extra-special Seattle Times ad campaign on his behalf that was designed to prove how effective the Times is as a political ad medium. Oops. McKenna, of course, did not even win the Times' home county, King, hardly unexpected.
Many of the McKenna-endorsing newspapers were in counties that traditionally vote Republican, so they likely reflected the majority opinion of their readers. But how did gubernatorial newspaper endorsements do in counties that might have swung? Well, the Everett Herald also endorsed McKenna but Inslee won Snohomish County anyway. The Aberdeen Daily World backed McKenna, but Gray's Harbor county went with Inslee. The Kitsap Sun in Inslee's home county endorsed McKenna, and Inslee was just barely edged there — the endorsement might have made a difference. The Tacoma News-Tribune endorsed McKenna who won narrowly in Pierce County, so their editorial might have made a difference as well.
Still, the overall weight in sheer pounds tipped the media scales heavily against Inslee making him seem the underdog even in a state that routinely elects Democrats, and even while he was leading in the polls. The main takeaway is that if editorial boards decided elections, the outcomes would be very different than reality. As a former member of a newspaper editorial board, I can say with some small authority that reality is often a salmon that must swim hard upstream during edit board deliberations.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!