Arizona Republic Endorses 1st Dem in 126 Years, Faces Backlash

Paper broke with tradition that goes back to its founding
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2016 4:13 AM CDT
After 126 Years, Arizona Republic Endorses a Democrat
Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at the University Of New Hampshire in Durham, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Arizona Republic—which was founded as the Arizona Republican in 1890, 22 years before Arizona became a state—broke with 126 years of history Wednesday by endorsing a Democrat over a Republican for president for the first time. "This year is different," the paper's editorial board wrote, citing Donald Trump's "deep character flaws" and questioning his conservatism. Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate, but she is competent and does not "casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies," the board wrote. "Her approach to governance is mature, confident, and rational."

The paper—which endorsed Benjamin Harrison in 1892 and carried on endorsing Republicans through to Mitt Romney in 2012, though it refused to endorse either Nixon or LBJ in 1968—faced a major backlash after the Clinton endorsement, with plenty of angry phone calls, subscription cancellations, and even a death threat, USA Today reports. Other papers, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, lost subscribers after failing to endorse Trump, but Republic editorial page editor Phil Boas says he believes the board made the right decision. "We think that we are being traditionalists here. We're saying we're not willing to compromise our values," he tells the New York Times. (More Election 2016 stories.)

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