Thursday, April 01, 2010

Post vs. Apple: Endorsement Record by the Numbers

Yesterday, nearly half of the elected state and county officials in Montgomery County debated the relative endorsement value of the Post and the Apple Ballot. Today, we’ll look at the recent comparative record of those endorsements as well as others.

Below, we show the results of all state legislative and county races in MoCo since 2006 as well as the endorsements of the Washington Post, the Gazette, the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), Progressive Maryland and the Sierra Club. All races are primaries unless otherwise indicated.

All five organizations had winning records overall. But the big differences came in races in which they chose to endorse non-incumbents. The two newspapers trailed the three other endorsers, with the Gazette having almost as many losers (ten) as winners (twelve). So much for the claim in a recent Gazette article that it is a “rarity” for anyone to win without the backing of the Gazette.

Now we should not make too much out of these records. Progressive Maryland and the Sierra Club sat out a lot of races, including all of the school board contests. Progressive Maryland's requirement that two-thirds of its Board of Directors agree to its picks probably kept it out of several close races. And out of these five organizations, few would disagree that the Teachers give the most tangible aid to their favored candidates. After all, the Washington Post does not dispatch hundreds of its employees to hand out “Post Ballots” on election day.

It gets more interesting when the Apple is compared to the newspapers on endorsements on which they disagree. Here is the Apple’s record against the Post since 2006:

And here is the Apple’s record against the Gazette since 2006:

Reasonable observers can disagree on the relative merit of each endorsement. But the majority of MoCo politicians have picked the Apple over the Post and we agree. Our hunch is that even given the Post’s bloody and misinformed campaign against MCEA, Montgomery voters still have more respect for teachers than for the anonymous mandarins of the Post.