Texas Paper Endorses a Democrat for President for the First Time Since World War II

September 7, 2016 Updated: September 7, 2016

The Dallas Morning News endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton on Sept. 7, breaking a long-standing tradition of endorsing Republican presidential candidates.

“We don’t come to this decision easily,” the paper’s editorial board wrote before acknowledging their past. “This newspaper has not recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II—if you’re counting, that’s more than 75 years and nearly 20 elections,” they continued. 

The only election after World War II in which the paper didn’t endorse the Republican candidate was in 1964 when it stayed neutral in the election between Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson and Republican Barry Goldwater. That year, Texas went to Johnson who won 63 percent of the vote.

Despite the endorsement, the op-ed was not without criticism of the Democratic party, who they said had an “over-reliance on government and regulation to remedy the country’s ills,” which, they continued, “is at odds with our belief in private-sector ingenuity and innovation.”

“Our values are more about individual liberty, free markets and a strong national defense,” they wrote.

They pointed to criticism they’ve had of Hillary Clinton on “certain issues in the past,” specifically “her willingness to shade the truth,” her judgment when handling emails as Secretary of State, and suggested “additional steps to divorce allegations of influence peddling from the Clinton Foundation.”

“Those are real shortcomings,” wrote the paper, before questioning the attacks and investigations on Clinton that accuse her of “treason” and “murder” and “refuse to see anything but conspiracies and cover-ups.”

“We reject the politics of personal destruction,” the editorial board wrote. “Clinton has made mistakes and displayed bad judgment, but her errors are plainly in a different universe than her opponent’s.”

When comparing experience, the board came to the conclusion that Clinton is the better candidate.

“Resume vs. resume, judgment vs. judgment, this election is no contest,” they wrote.

The endorsement comes on the heels of an op-ed they published on Tuesday, entitled “Donald Trump is no Republican,” saying that Trump “is not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote.”

In 2012, Mitt Romney won the state by 16 percent against President Barack Obama—57 percent to 41 percent—and it’s unclear whether endorsements from Dallas Morning News show a shift in the state’s public opinion. Most polls from Texas show Trump up by double digits, and it’s still considered a Republican stronghold.   

Some of Trump’s highest profile political detractors in the Republican party are from Texas, including the Bush family—former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and members of their administrations—and former primary opponent Texas Senator Ted Cruz.