Philip "flip" Kromer, the creator of the map observes on the Infochimps.org blog:
- I think the amount of red in the blue states is a market effect. If you're the Boston Herald, there's no percentage in agreeing with the Boston Globe; similarly Daily News vs New York Post, SF Examiner vs SF Chronicle. That's why the Tribune endorsement, even accounting for hometown bias, is so striking. I don't mean that they're cynically pandering; rather that in a market with multiple papers readers, and journalists are efficiently sorted into two separate camps. (And the axis doesn't have to be political: though the Chronic and the Statesman are politically distinct I see their main difference being lifestyle vs. traditional news).
- The amount of blue in the red states highlights how foolishly incomplete the "Red State/Blue State" model is for anything but electoral college returns. The largest part of the Red/Blue split is Rural/Urban -- look at the electoral cartogram for the last election and almost every city is blue, even in the south and mountain; and almost all of our rural areal is red. The exceptions, chiefly Dallas, Houston and Boise, stand noticeably alone as having red unpaired with blue. (Though in this election even the Houston Chronicle is endorsing Obama.)I'm going to try to make a map colored by county, but there are no good off-the-shelf tools for doing this (that I've found).
Some of the results are surprising.
Greg Sterling wonders if the value of newspaper endorsements are really waning when online newspaper readership is at an all-time high.
Whether newspaper editorials are the opinion influencers is debatable, plenty of people are worried about the opinions of newspapers/the AP/TV Networks in general.