John R. Smith: Palm Beach Post Endorsement Not Very Important

As usual, come election time, some political candidates fret over whether they will receive an endorsement from the Palm Beach Post.

It doesn’t matter. The “blessing” of the Post is not valuable anymore. Their endorsement is not necessary for victory at the polls. It’s like worrying about a shark attack when you’re basking in a swimming pool. The Post has no teeth and hasn’t for a long time.

Here’s the proof: The total paid daily circulation of the Post—print and electronic– is 23,959 (from U.S. Postal Service, a/o 7/21/2023). Palm Beach County’s population is 1,548,985, which means that the Post’s circulation is 1.54 percent of our population. The data makes a conclusive point: the Post’s endorsement of a candidate has no influence and is not essential to winning an election. The current circulation is down from about 260,000 a dozen or more years ago.

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They have rendered themselves impotent by their biased actions over the years, and they deserve no sympathy or respect on their journey toward oblivion.

BIZPAC has done some studies and surveys over the years about the importance of political endorsements by the Post. These surveys have revealed that, whatever the circulation numbers, readers pay almost no attention to the Post editorial page. This is because a diminishing fraction of voters read their editorial pages at all and because voters have come to rely more on other influences. A past survey shows that Post readers favor in order:

  1. the front page
  2. the sports pages;
  3. the “Local” section;
  4. the comics;
  5. the obituaries;
  6. “Accent”

Almost no one reads the editorials or Letters-to-the-Editor, except die-hard leftists or people like me who want to see if any of their friends have been crucified by the Post.

The Post has almost no influence on higher-profile races, and only a small influence on lesser-known races, depending on several factors. News coverage of races, and how a candidate is depicted in news stories, has more impact than editorial endorsements.

The Post’s nominal influence also differs depending on where voters live in the county. Post circulation is very minimal in South County, where the Sun Sentinel is strong, so its influence is almost nil and is widely ignored in Boca Raton and Delray Beach. In central and northern counties, its circulation rises, mostly with Democrats. But it’s plain that the Post’s endorsement is nowhere near critical for a candidate to win.


Other stories you may want to read:

Delray Beach Election Roundup and Endorsements

Jack Furnari: An Election Day Message to Palm Beach County Republicans

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