The newspaper endorsement season is about to begin in the three-way gubernatorial race between Democrat Jon Corzine, Republican Christopher Christie, and Independent Christopher Daggett. During Corzine's first run for public office, the 2000 campaign for United States Senator, Republican Bob Franks was endorsed by seventeen daily newspapers, while Corzine won the backing of six. Five years later, when Corzine ran for Governor, eight newspapers supported Corzine, while nine went for Republican Douglas Forrester.
Of the seventeen dailies that endorsed in both 2000 and 2005, three have endorsed Corzine twice: the Jersey Journal, the Trenton Times, and the New York Daily News. Seven newspapers have never endorsed Corzine: The Record, the Asbury Park Press, the Courier-Post, the Daily Record, the Courier-News, the New York Post, and the Trentonian.
There is some speculation, mostly from those not in the know, that Daggett could get a share of print media support. Newspaper endorsements rarely go to third party candidates: the Courier-Post backed Libertarian Murray Sabrin for Governor in 1997, and The Record, in a sort of "what the heck" kind of editorial that followed the crazy candidate switcheroo, went with Green Party candidate Ted Glick for U.S. Senate in 2002. In 2001, the Trenton Times endorsed James E. McGreevey for Governor, and then wrote a separate editorial apologizing for not endorsing William Schluter, a Mercer County Republican State Senator who was running as an independent. The editorial suggested that they liked Schluter best, but knew he could not win.
Corzine's newspaper endorsement record:
Star-Ledger: Corzine 2000, Forrester 2005
The Record: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005
Asbury Park Press: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005
New York Times: Franks 2000, Corzine 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer: Franks 2000, Corzine 2005
Trenton Times: Corzine 2000, Corzine 2005
Courier-Post: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005
Daily Record: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005
Home News Tribune: Corzine 2000, Forrester 2005
Press of Atlantic City: Franks 2000, Corzine 2005
Jersey Journal: Corzine 2000, Corzine 2005
Gloucester County Times: Franks 2000, Corzine2005
Express-Times: Franks 2000, Corzine 2005
Courier-News: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005
New York Daily News: Corzine 2000, Corzine 2005
New York Post: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005
Trentonian: Franks 2000, Forrester 2005