Newspaper candidate endorsements are an anachronism, a relic of a time during which readers didn't have access to the internet, didn't have an entire world of research and rhetoric at their fingertips. The Knoxville News Sentinel admitted as much earlier this year, when it announced that it would no longer endorse a candidate for the presidency. After all, they "have no sources of information that every other citizen does not have as well." That doesn't stop most newspapers. Most papers still see endorsements as a responsibility -- and an opportunity to establish their own importance.
We decided to survey the endorsements that have been given to date (by newspapers with circulations of 100,000 or more) to assess the extent to which those endorsements address issues of concern to Grist readers; specifically, the environment and energy, and food. (In case you're curious, the endorsements, like the polling, show a generally even split.)
Guess what? They rarely, rarely did. The only time food came up in any editorial was as part of the phrase "food stamps," used in editorials bashing the president. "Climate" came up every so often -- but more regularly when used in conjunction with "business." "Climate change" was mentioned twice -- twice! -- in the 21 endorsements we looked at.
(The University of California at Santa Barbara provides an ongoing list of endorsements, a hugely valuable tool that we relied on. Many more papers have yet to weigh in.)