Orlando Sentinel flips for Romney, Tampa Bay Times backs Obama

The Orlando Sentinel, which endorsed President Obama in 2008, is backing Mitt Romney this time around. 

"It verges on magical thinking to expect Obama to get different results in the next four years," the paper's editorial board writes. "This is Romney's time to lead."

Meanwhile Florida's largest paper, the Tampa Bay Times, is backing Obama.

"The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined," the Tampa Bay Times board writes. "But conditions would be far worse without the president's steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past.

Both campaigns are descending on Florida this weekend, with polls showing a consistently tight race in the state. 

Newspaper endorsements can have an impact -- particularly if the endorsement is unexpected. That suggests the Sentinel endorsement has a little more weight. (The paper backed John Kerry in 2004, George W. Bush in 2000 and George H. W. Bush in 1988 and 1992).

But Tampa is a bigger media market, possibly the most important one in the country

The Denver Post also endorsed Obama for the second time Friday, saying his "record of accomplishment under trying circumstances and his blueprint for a second term make him the best pick to move the nation forward." So did the Salt Lake Tribune, saying the "pragmatic, inclusive Romney" who ran the 2002 Olympics "skedaddled and is nowhere to be found."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · October 19, 2012