Political endorsements in September
I didn't know Michael Brodkorb was back in the blog business, but here's a choice cut from his analysis of the top 10 Minnesota Senate races to watch:
I’ve spoken with operatives on both sides of the aisle and the biggest change in this list is that I’ve added Senate District 25, which pits Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem against Olmsted County Commissioner Judy Ohly. Last week, the Rochester Post-Bulletin endorsed Ohly over Senjem – which is big momentum for Ohly. The Post-Bulletin is largest newspaper in the district (and one of the biggest in Minnesota) and their early endorsement of Ohly gives her an opportunity to boast about the newspaper’s endorsement in the weeks leading up to Election Day.
It is common for legislative endorsements to come out a few weeks in advance of the election, but this endorsement came out 50 days from Election Day. Ohly now has been generously afforded 50 days to talk about why the largest newspaper in the district endorsed her over Senjem. After the endorsement of Ohly over Senjem, the Rochester Post-Bulletin followed up with a series of additional legislative endorsements, including endorsing Senator Carla Nelson over DFLer Ken Moen.
Brodkorb makes an interesting point that we've talked about in-house here: Because we make so many endorsements of area and local races, this year we moved up the publication dates, beginning soon after Labor Day. Most papers haven't even started their endorsement runs yet, and Brodkorb is probably correct that endorsements this early in the process do allow candidates to market them differently.
There's a lot of campaign time left, also, which might give our editorial writers some buyer's remorse, post-endorsement.
That said, it also gives readers more time to consider the issues we raise and match up our interviews and research with what they find about the candidates.
Of course, some readers have said we shouldn't be in the endorsement business at all.
What do you think?