JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With Election Day just two days away, the Florida Times-Union publicly endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump Sunday as the “Change agent the U.S. needs”
The endorsement has certainly stirred controversy, and it’s one reason why the president of the Times-Union explained the endorsement on the front page of the Sunday newspaper.
The endorsement, made in the editorial section of the newspaper, says, in part, that, “America needs a major shake-up.”
Michael Binder, a political science professor at the University of North Florida, said newspapers regularly endorse candidates and issues because it’s an opportunity to educate the public about policies.
Binder said he thinks the endorsement is getting a lot of pushback simply because this election is like one we’ve never seen before. He said it’s been more about personality traits, mudslinging and who is fit to be president based on those issues -- instead of focusing on the actual issues of immigration, jobs, healthcare and taxes.
Binder said there’s almost a reality TV feel to the election.
The paper made the following statement in its endorsement:
Trump is right that too many American jobs have been shipped overseas. He is right that our immigration system is broken. He is right that the tax system needs to be reformed because he has benefited from it unreasonably.
It also cites Trump’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate helped “soothe fears.”
The endorsement said a Clinton administration would be another four years of “endless investigations and Clinitonisms.”
But Binder said the choice to endorse could have negative effects, especially with how heated this election has become.
“I think their best bet is to put their heads down for a week and hopes this blows over,” Binder said. “There’s going to be hurt feelings. This is a tight market, it’s not like TV news where there’s so much movement. Do people look to leave? Does readership go down? Do subscriptions drop?”
Binder said many newspapers that usually endorse conservative candidates did not this time around, and that the Times-Union is one of the largest newspapers in the country to endorse him.
Early voting in Florida ended Sunday. Election Day is Tuesday.