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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed President Donald Trump three days before the election Saturday in the paper’s first Republican presidential endorsement since 1972.
“We share the embarrassment of millions of Americans who are disturbed by the president’s unpresidential manners and character,” the paper’s editorial board wrote, before adding, “But he gets things done.”
This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But we believe President Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice this year.
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) November 1, 2020
The Pennsylvania paper emphasized Trump’s accomplishments on the economy and trade while lauding the president for keeping his promise to appoint originalist judges.
“Under Donald Trump the economy, pre-COVID, boomed, like no time since the 1950s. Look at your 401(k) over the past three years. Unemployment for Black Americans is lower than it has ever been, under any president of either party,” the editors explained. “Under Mr. Trump, our trade relationships have vastly improved and our trade deals have been rewritten. Thanks to him, middle America is on the map again and the Appalachian and hourly worker has some hope.”
On the coronavirus pandemic, the paper conceded that the government’s response had not been perfect under the Trump administration.
“But,” the paper wrote, “no one masters a pandemic. And the president was and is right that we must not cower before the disease and we have to keep America open and working.”
Pittsburgh’s endorsement was also shared by the Toledo Blade republishing the same editorial. The Ohio paper has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate in more than 30 years.
The local endorsements come in the critical final stretch to election day. Ohio and Pennsylvania are once again at the center of presidential politics, poised to cast the deciding ballots to determine Tuesday’s outcome.
In Ohio, without which no president has captured the White House since 1960, Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden remain virtually tied in RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of polls.
Polls in Pennsylvania, another state flipped by Trump four years ago, present a steeper challenge for the president in this must-win battleground once considered part of the Democratic “blue wall,” a reliable 20 electoral votes in recent elections. Biden polls an average of 4 points ahead there, according to the RealClear aggregate.