Republican nominee Mitt Romney picked up a number of newspaper endorsements Sunday for his 2012 bid for the White House - a couple of them in major battleground states.
The Tampa Tribune and The Columbus Dispatch, in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio, recommended voting for the Republican candidate. The Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram, The Arizona Republic, and the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Tribune-Review also announced their support for Romney on Sunday.
The Dispatch endorsement of the GOP candidate came a day after another major Ohio newspaper threw its support behind President Barack Obama. On Saturday, Ohio's largest newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, endorsed the Democratic incumbent, as it did for then-Sen. Obama in 2008.
The split between the two Ohio papers underscores the closeness of the race in the Buckeye State.
The same is true in Florida. Last week the Orlando Sentinel announced its support of Romney, despite backing Obama in 2008. On Saturday, however, the Sunshine State's largest paper, the Tampa Bay Times, wrote that it would back Obama, as it did in 2008.
Recent polls in both states suggest the race is all tied up.
In Florida, 48% of voters said they back Romney, and 45% said they support Obama, according to a Fox News survey of likely voters. Those results are in line with last week's CNN/ORC International poll of likely Florida voters. The CNN poll found 49% of likely voters in Florida backed Romney and 48% backed Obama. The differences between the candidates in both polls are within the sampling errors.
Likely voters in Ohio split similarly between the two candidates, with 46% backing Obama and 43% supporting Romney, the Fox poll showed. Throughout the fall and summer, polls in Ohio have shown a tight race, some with a slight advantage for Obama.
Ohio has 18 electoral votes and Florida has 29. Both candidates have made frequent campaign stops in both states in the weeks before Election Day.
Obama plans to campaign in Ohio as well as Florida following the final presidential debate, to be held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on Monday. He will make a rare joint appearance with Vice President Joe Biden in Dayton, Ohio. The Romney campaign has not announced its post-debate campaign plans.
"After nearly four years of economic stagnation, massive unemployment, record-setting debt and government intrusions into the economy that have paralyzed the private sector, the United States needs a new direction," the Dispatch editorial said. "For this reason, The Dispatch urges voters to choose Republican Mitt Romney for president in the Nov. 6 election."
The Ohio paper's editorial proceeded to lay out the results of Obama's four years in the White House in bullet point form, ticking off a series of economic woes from unemployment to the poverty rate still plaguing the country.
Both the Columbus Dispatch and the Tampa Tribune brought up their 2008 endorsements of McCain, which warned of the dangers of an Obama presidency.
"Just as we warned four years ago, this master orator has pushed America toward a European-style social democracy," the Florida paper wrote. "We don't question Obama's motives. The president sincerely believes in the inviolable ability of the federal government to make all things right. But Americans should see that this top-down approach doesn't work."
"Romney, in contrast, would capitalize on individuals' ingenuity, not Washington directives."
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called Romney an "exceptionally good and decent man who is a proven leader, administrator and deft politician."
Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, leans toward Obama, though the Romney campaign has recently said it sees the state as up for grabs.
The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, and The Arizona Republic - both in states considered loyally Republican - agree Romney should lead the country come November, to foster economic growth in tough financial times.
The Republic writes, "We believe the nation's best opportunity to escape the compounding woes of spiraling debt and economic stagnation lies with a president who believes in the free market's capacity to heal its own wounds.
CNN rates Arizona, with its 11 electoral votes, a state "leaning Romney" on its Electoral Map. Texas is expected to deliver its 38 electoral votes to Romney.
It's all about the odds, and one lone ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching each of the six numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history, lottery officials said Sunday.