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USA Today Breaks With Tradition on 2020 Race

Newspaper makes its very first presidential endorsement, and it picks Joe Biden
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2020 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) USA Today does not endorse presidential candidates. Or least it didn't, until Tuesday. The newspaper broke with its own tradition and officially backed Joe Biden. "If this were a choice between two capable major party nominees who happened to have opposing ideas, we wouldn't choose sides," reads the editorial. But "these are not normal times" and this is not a typical election, it continues. "This year, character, competence, and credibility are on the ballot. Given Trump's refusal to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, so, too, is the future of America's democracy."

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The newspaper also broke with tradition in the 2016 race, though to a lesser extent. In that contest, it backed anyone but Trump without explicitly endorsing Hillary Clinton or anyone else. The new endorsement may not bother Trump all that much, given some context pointed out by Axios. The outlet cites a story in the Hill from 2016 tallying the final endorsements of major US papers: 57 for Clinton and two for Trump. (USA Today isn't the only publication breaking with its no-endorsement tradition.)

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