What the Endorsement Game Means

Once upon a time, the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader in a Republican presidential primary was a pretty big deal. The Union Leader was considered the voice of hard-core New England conservatives, and its seal of approval could give put a marginal candidate into contention and put a frontrunner over the top. No more. Like all newspaper endorsements, the backing of the Union Leader just isn’t worth that much these days. Nevertheless, we can still expect Chris Christie’s campaign to be trumpeting the paper’s editorial published on Saturday in which it proclaimed the New Jersey governor as the man uniquely able to secure the nation’s safety while it also disparaged other Republican candidates. While not even Christie’s people will claim the piece written by the paper’s publisher Joseph W. McQuaid is a game changer, it does give him a slight boost when he is trying to stay relevant in a race where he remains far behind in both national polls and New Hampshire. More important, it creates the impression that the moderate primary — the competition among those candidates appealing to moderate or establishment GOP voters — is going to remain crowded. That limits the chances of all of them to compete with conservatives or those who seek to appeal to both camps.

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What the Endorsement Game Means

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