USA Today breaks 34-year tradition: ‘By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton campaigning in West Virginia. (AP file)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — USA Today’s editorial board claims every four years they discuss their non-endorsement policy, and for the first time, decided to break that policy by asking voters not to support Republican nominee Donald Trump for President of the United States.

“This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency,” writes USA Today’s editorial board.

The board harshly describes their concerns over Trump.

They deem him erratic, ill-equipped to be commander-in-chief, and a serial liar with a checkered business career who traffics in prejudice.

“Resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue,” writes USA Today’s editorial board. “By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”

USA Today’s editorial board is the latest in a series of news organizations who have decided to go against their institution’s tradition to endorse Hillary Clinton, or at least, ask voters not to support Trump.

The Arizona Republic started publication in 1890, and for the first time ever, endorsed a Democrat by announcing they supported Hillary Clinton earlier this week.

Readers cancelled subscriptions and started picketing the Dallas Morning News after their Clinton endorsement. The highly regarded paper has not endorsed a Democrat for president in more than 75 years.

What remains unclear is how effective these endorsements will be in changing people’s minds when it comes time to make a choice.

A 2011 study showed the most effective newspaper endorsements are the unexpected. For instance, The New York Times supporting Hillary Clinton does not surprise its readers or those who believe the newspaper is biased.

However, people may be more adept to listen or read if they chose Trump.

USA Today’s editorial has already garnered time on national broadcasts and received thousands of views online, but could also play into Trump’s rhetoric that he has America’s elite scared.

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