What Impact Do Newspaper Endorsement Have?

Candidates court newspaper endorsements.

They fill out questionnaires.

I remember enjoying matching wits with the Chicago Tribune folks most…especially the year when they asked questions about education funding. (The statistics did not favor the answer the questionnaire wanted.  Naturally, I did not receive their endorsement.)

And the Northwest Herald was always fun, even though I don’t remember the paper’s ever endorsing me when it could have made a difference.

In any event, let’s take a look at the candidates endorsed by the four major newspapers that look in our direction and see how influential their endorsements were.

Chicago Tribune mastheadOn County races, the Chicago Tribune went three for four.

Endorsed were

  • Joe Gottemoller for County Board Chairman
  • Patrick Kenneally for State’s Attorney
  • Joe Tirio for Recorder of Deeds
  • James Cowlin for Judge

Only Gottemoller lost.

In legislative contests, its Editorial Board picked two winners in Allen Skillicorn in the 66th State Rep. district (Tryon’s) and Steve Reick in the 63rd District (Jack Franks’) and one who did not succeed in the seat from which Dan Duffy is retiring–Martin McLaughlin.

Daily Herald MastheadThe Daily Herald also made endorsements.

In fact, the Arlington Heights-based paper made more endorsements in McHenry County than did either the Chicago Tribune or the Northwest Herald, both of which skipped County Board races.

Daily Herald endorsements for McHenry County Board districts follow:

  • For District 1, Yvonne Barnes and Anna May Miller
  • For District 2, John Reinert and Jeff Thorsen
  • For District 3, Nancy Gonsiorek and Nick Provenzano
  • District 5, Joseph Calomino and Mike Skala
  • District 6, James Kearnes and Mary McCann

Seven of the ten candidates who were endorsed won their GOP nominations.

Only Miller, Gonsiorek and Calomino lost.

Where I believe the Daily Herald has its heaviest circulation (Districts 1 & 5), however, half of its favorite candidates lost.

For countywide races, the DH favored

  • Joe Gottemoller for County Board Chairman
  • Dan Regna for State’s Attorney
  • Tina Hill for Recorder of Deeds

All lost.

For the legislature, the Daily Herald endorsed

  • Peter Roskam for re-election to Congress
  • Carolyn Schofield for the 66th District State Rep. race
  • Martin McLaughlin to replace Dan Duffy in the 26th District.

Both General Assembly candidates lost.

NWH MastheadThe Northwest Herald, as mentioned above, for the first time did not endorse County Board candidates.

It didn’t endorse for McHenry County State’s Attorney either.

Patrick Kenneally won almost 2-1.

For County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller got the nod.  Mike Walkup won.

Joni Smith won support in her Recorder of Deeds bid.  Joe Tirio came in first.

For the state legislature, the NWH endorsed Dan Wilbrandt for State Representative and Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin for State Senate.

Both lost.
Chicago Sun-Times mastheadThe Chicago Sun-Times did not venture into McHenry County endorsements, but it did endorse in legislative races.

The really Chicago-centric paper endorsed Carolyn Schofield for State Rep. in the 66th District and Martin McLaughlin for State Senator in the 26th District.

Neither won.

This is probably as good a place as any to show you what McLaughlin’s campaign web site has on its front page.

Martin McLaughlin was endorsed by all newspapers, but that was not enough to overcome the onslaught of money spent on direct mail and television ads.

Martin McLaughlin was endorsed by all newspapers, but that was not enough to overcome the onslaught of money spent on direct mail and television ads.

And Joe Gottemoller got endorsed by the three newspapers that made endorsements.

  • Northwest Herald
  • Daily Herald
  • Chicago Tribune

While looking at his web site, however, I found that the Chicago Tribune endorsement was not posted.

Newspaper endorsements can be and were used in this election in mailings near the election.

But to argue that they are a major influence on the results would be a hard case to make.


What Impact Do Newspaper Endorsement Have? — 2 Comments

  1. Cal- I think you are incorrect as to the Daily Herald and Regna. You used the term “favored”.

    It is clear they did not endorse Regna.

    Objectively Regna was not favored by anyone.

    Yet it’s true the DH did no favors to Keneally.

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