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New York Times endorses Obama; backing Democrats since 1956

Obama's 'sensible budget policies' will help America grow following 2008 collapse, New York Times says.

Barack obama malia sasha october 28Enlarge
US President Barack Obama and his daughters Malia, left, and Sasha walk to the White House from St. John's church after attending Sunday services in Washington on October 28, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

America's leading newspaper, The New York Times, continued its tradition of backing Democratic candidates for president and today endorsed Barack Obama for a second term.

Not since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 has the venerable paper endorsed a Republican, Slate reported.

In an editorial published today, The Times said that while America's economy is improving since the 2008 financial collapse, it remains fragile and needs prudent measures to continue healing.

The paper also cited Obama's commitment to social issues such as gay marriage among reasons why voters should give him a second term on November 6.

"President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless," The Times said.

The Times said that the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, simply gives an audience what it "wants to hear."

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In a more surprising move, the Des Moines Register broke with its longstanding trend and endorsed Romney.

The largest newspaper in Iowa (considered a key battleground state) hasn't endorsed a Republican since Richard Nixon in 1972.

"The former governor and business executive has a strong record of achievement in both the private and the public sectors," The Register said today. "Romney has made rebuilding the economy his No. 1 campaign priority — and rightly so."

While both campaigns are quick to trumpet their endorsements, research shows they do little to sway voters.

In an editorial earlier this year, the Chicago Sun-Times said it won't endorse candidates anymore for that fact, and to avoid portraying a bias to readers.

However, the American Presidency Project still maintains a tally, and says Obama now has 32 newspapers on his side compared to 26 for Romney.

That translates into more than 8.6 million circulation for the incumbent and 4.7 for the challenger.

More from GlobalPost: How much weight does Collin Powell's endorsement for Obama carry?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121028/new-york-times-endorses-obama-backing-democrats-