(Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has secured newspaper endorsements in the major swing states of Ohio and Florida. Newspapers in other states have also announced their support for the former Massachusetts governor.
The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio and The Tampa Tribune in Florida on Sunday recommended voting for Romney.
The Dispatch endorsed Romney a day after Ohio's Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper threw its support behind President Barack Obama. Dealer had endorsed Obama also in 2008. Akron Beacon Journal also backed Obama.
In an editorial, the Dispatch wrote that voters trusted the inexperienced Obama in 2008 and elevated him to the White House, but "that faith was not rewarded." "This time, voters should place their hopes for change in experience, by electing Romney," said the newspaper in Ohio, which has 18 electoral votes.
The Dispatch also said the Republican nominee's "election would be an immediate signal to the private sector that someone who knows what he is doing is managing the nation's economic policy."
In Ohio, the latest Fox News poll released last Friday had Obama with 46 percent support and Romney with 43 percent.
In Florida – which has 29 electoral votes – Orlando Sentinel also endorsed the GOP challenger, after supporting Obama in 2008. The endorsements for Romney came after Tampa Bay Times said it would back Obama as it did in 2008.
The Tribune wrote, "Just as we warned four years ago, this master orator has pushed America toward a European-style social democracy. We don't question Obama's motives. The president sincerely believes in the inviolable ability of the federal government to make all things right. But Americans should see that this top-down approach doesn't work."
Comparing the two candidates, the Florida newspaper said Romney would "capitalize on individuals' ingenuity, not Washington directives."
The latest Fox poll in Florida had Romney with 48 percent support and Obama with 45 percent.
Obama will tour Ohio and Florida for campaign events after the final presidential debate in Florida, to be held on Monday.
Star-Telegram in Texas, The Arizona Republic in Ariz., the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in Pa., and New Hampshire Union Leader in N.H. also endorsed Romney on Sunday.
The Tribune-Review wrote that Romney is an "exceptionally good and decent man who is a proven leader, administrator and deft politician."
"We believe the nation's best opportunity to escape the compounding woes of spiraling debt and economic stagnation lies with a president who believes in the free market's capacity to heal its own wound, the Republic said in its editorial.
The Leader wrote that "Romney offers a better way, a realistic way, to restore American prosperity."
On the other hand, Los Angeles Times in Calif., Arizona Daily Star in Ariz., and Santa Fe New Mexican in N.M. have endorsed Obama.
Meanwhile, the race for the White House remains tight nationally. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Obama leading with a narrow margin, 46 percent to 45 percent.