In Virginia, 14 Out of 26 Candidates Endorsed by WaPo Lose
Published: 11/4/2009 4:59 PM ET
How much is a Washington Post endorsement worth? Not a lot, apparently. The Post endorsed 26 candidates in Virginia's November 4 elections. Only 12 of them won. The liberal newspaper's picks for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, all Democrats, lost, averaging only 42.4 percent of the vote. Almost 239,000 Virginians voted against the wishes of this establishment news outlet.
The Post lobbied heavily for their gubernatorial candidate, Creigh Deeds (who received only 41.2 percent of the vote), offering a seemingly endless number of stories about Republican Bob McDonnell and a thesis he wrote in 1989. (McDonnell garnered 58.6 percent of the vote.) As for the Virginia House of Democrats, the paper endorsed in 23 races and only 12 won. Adding up all the numbers, the Post's candidates combined for 229,596 votes, compared to 238,854 against, for a 51 to 49 percent defeat.
In the State House, the Post supported just four Republicans. Three of those, in heavily liberal districts, lost. The other one, Thomas D. Rust, has repeatedly bucked his own party. He won.
Additionally, the newspaper picked a candidate in the Northern Virginia suburbs, Fairfax County School Board, John J. Jennison. (He lost.) A nominee for the Arlington County Board won. As did a bond issue that the Post supported. The final total: 14 wins out of 29 endorsements.
-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.