If American newspapers were voters, the results would emphatically not be in doubt

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL November 7, 2016

hillary-clinton-300x199The Economist, surprise, surprise, has made its pick from the choices offered in the American elections. If it could (were it not “an inanimate newspaper” and were it not British), it would vote for Hillary Clinton.

So much, so expected.

What’s interesting in the blog put together by its Data Team is how much The Economist is enjoying being part of the herd. The newspaper herd. The American newspaper herd, as it reminds us, is plumping for Mrs Clinton.

As The Economist points out “American newspapers, even those with stolidly Republican-leaning editorial boards, have largely abandoned Donald Trump”. The Columbus DispatchArizona Republic and Richmond Times-Dispatch, which had endorsed Republican candidates in the last nine presidential elections, have picked Mrs Clinton.

“Only one newspaper in the historical archive maintained by Noah Veltman, a data journalist—the Las Vegas Review-Journal—has endorsed the Republican nominee.”

One paper, USA Today, has taken a “don’t vote Trump” line. A scant few have taken an approving look at the pot-smoking Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate with a proudly limited knowledge of world affairs, not least the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo.

But the rest are for Mrs Clinton. Do all these endorsements say something, at least to the listening American voter?