The big news out of New Hampshire this week was the endorsement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie by the state’s largest newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader of Manchester. The Union Leader is a leading conservative voice in the state, for sure, and its endorsement is much coveted by Republican candidates. But how much sway do its endorsements have? Here’s a look at the Republican presidential candidates endorsed by the Union Leader in each of the past 10 contested races, followed by the winner of the New Hampshire GOP primary that year and the eventual Republican presidential nominee.
The Union Leader’s candidate doesn’t always win — but a 2012 analysis by Nate Silver in The New York Times suggested that the Union Leader endorsement has, in recent contests, often acted as a leading indicator: The endorsed candidates generally did bestter than polling suggested. Does the Union Leader nod help these candidates, or does it simply reflect where voters were otherwise headed? Either way, it’s encouraging news for Christie.
|Year||Endorsed by the Union Leader||Winner of the GOP primary||Eventual Republican nominee|
|2012||Newt Gingrich||Mitt Romney||Mitt Romney|
|2008||John McCain||John McCain||John McCain|
|2000||Steve Forbes||John McCain||George W. Bush|
|1996||Pat Buchanan||Pat Buchanan||Bob Dole|
|1992||Pat Buchanan||George H. W. Bush||George H. W. Bush|
|1988||Pete du Pont||George H. W. Bush||George H. W. Bush|
|1980||Ronald Reagan||Ronald Reagan||Ronald Reagan|
|1976||Ronald Reagan||Gerald Ford||Gerald Ford|
|1972||John Ashbrook||Richard Nixon||Richard Nixon|
|1968||Richard Nixon||Richard Nixon||Richard Nixon|