N.H. paper endorses Joe Biden, first Democrat in more than 100 years

Union Leader calls for splitting the ballot, says ‘blue wave' would be disastrous

New Hampshire’s most widely circulated newspaper, which hasn’t backed a Democratic presidential candidate in more than a century, endorsed Joe Biden on Sunday.

“President Trump is not always 100 percent wrong, but he is 100 percent wrong for America,” said the New Hampshire Union Leader’s editorial board. “Our endorsement for president of these United States goes to Joe Biden.”

But even while endorsing Biden, the paper called for "splitting the ballot and electing a healthy dose of GOP senators and representatives. The best governance often comes through compromise. The civility of the Biden administration will help foster such compromise, but a blue wave would be nearly as disastrous for this country as four more years of Trump.

“It would result in a quagmire of big government programs that will take decades to overcome.”

In 2016, the paper broke its 100-year tradition of backing Republicans by endorsing Libertarian Gary Johnson instead of Trump. “The Union Leader was very quickly dismissed by then-candidate Trump after we failed to bestow on him our endorsement in the Republican primary four years ago,” the paper said Sunday.

The newspaper said Trump “has many admirable accomplishments from his first term in office. We can find much common ground with Trump supporters, including judicial appointments, tax policy, support for gun rights, even inroads to Middle East peace. Trump has been able to accomplish this despite many in the media and Congress working to stop him at every opportunity.”

Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, reports ‘New York Times’

But now, “federal spending is on an unsustainable path," the editorial said. The fact that it has continued under an allegedly conservative president is unbelievable." The paper also criticized Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Joe Biden may not be the president we want, but in 2020 he is the president we desperately need," the paper said. “Biden is not perfect. We are not satisfied with his responses about his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings. His understanding of gun rights leaves a lot to be desired (Joe says we only need shotguns). He suggests cops faced with a deadly threat should “shoot them in the leg.” He also seems to be copying more pages out of the “Green New Deal” than we would like.”

But “Biden was among the most moderate in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field, proposing some of the lowest new spending among that increasingly left-leaning group," the paper said. "We are hopeful that this is a sign of the thoughtful and pragmatic public servant President Joe Biden will be. Sadly, President Trump has proven himself to be the antithesis of thoughtful and pragmatic; he has failed to earn a second term.”

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off in final debate

Trump is intensifying an already-breakneck travel schedule in the final full week of the presidential campaign. He is expected to hit nearly a dozen states in his last-ditch effort to recover ground from Biden, including a Tuesday trip to Nebraska. He will hold 11 rallies in the final 48 hours alone.

Biden, too, plans to pick up his travel schedule, aiming to hit the six battleground states the campaign sees as key to his chances, some with socially distanced in-person events and others with virtual events. On Tuesday, the former vice president is traveling to Georgia, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in more than a quarter-century but where polls show a tight race.

With more than one-third of the expected ballots in the election already cast, it may become increasingly challenging for Trump and Biden to reshape the contours of the race. Biden is leading Trump in most national polls and has an advantage, though narrower, in many key battlegrounds.

Biden is also sitting on more campaign cash than Trump and is putting it to use, blanketing airwaves with a nearly 2-to-1 advantage during the final two weeks. The incessant campaign ads from Biden feature a mix of his aspirational message with stinging critiques of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.