Mitt Romney picked up a key newspaper endorsement in the swing state of Florida, from a paper that supported the President just four years ago. The Orlando Sentinel threw its support behind the Republican, based almost entirely on economic issues. Their arguement rest on the idea that Barack Obama has been a disappointment and that he and a Republican Congress will accomplish nothing in the next four years, saying "We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years."
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No one really knows how much sway newspaper endorsements have over voters these days, but the Sentinel is one of the most widely read papers in a state that carries 29 critical electoral votes. The New York Observer endorsed Romney this week, but has much bigger rivals in a solidly Democratic city. He also added a somewhat wishy-washy nod from The Tennessean yesterday. Even the Sentinel was less than enthusiastic about its pick, saying "Romney is not our ideal candidate for president."
However, all eyes will be on Florida over the next several days as the candidates make their way to the final presidential debate, which will be held in Boca Raton on Monday. Romney will be campaigning in the state all weekend, starting with a stop in Daytona Beach on Friday.
The party switch also makes The Sentinel editorial board seem rather hard to please. The paper backed President Obama in the 2008 general election, but they also endorsed George W. Bush in his first campaign before switching sides to John Kerry four years later. They made it clear once again that they have no problem switching back if Romney doesn't deliver:
“If he doesn’t produce results — even with a hostile Senate — we’ll be ready in 2016 to get behind someone else who will.”