It shouldn't be a surprise that Nixon had more endorsements than McGovern, or that Ford had more than Carter. It certainly is no surprise that Reagan (2x) and Bush 41 (in 88) were more heavily endorsed than their ridiculous opponents. That doesn't mean that the papers liked doing it.
I can understand the Dole over Clinton endorsements in a way, even though Dole was never electable on a national stage. It was simply his turn to run. His character was certainly far superior to Clinton's.
Bush 43 over Gore is not a surprise, and Bush/Kerry was virtually even, even though Kerry was one of the most pompous jackasses ever to run for the office.
But in 2008, on what basis did Obama earn anyone's endorsement? He'd never even run a lemonade stand. There was never any reason for anyone to endorse that guy.
Anyway, if you look at the county-by-county red/blue breakdowns over the past several Presidential elections, the vast majority of the country (as far as land area goes) is conservative, at least more conservative than liberal. It shouldn't be a surprise that more newspapers endorse GOP candidates, especially outside of the largest cities which usually vote heavily on the Democrat side.
Wow, I can't believe the Sarasota-Herald Tribune endorsed Gore in 2000. Sarasota is a heavily Republican city.
That's an interesting article.
btw, in 2000, Al Gore lost his own home state of Tennessee. As VP, he had already been displaying many of the character flaws that undoubtedly cost him the election that year. Seems like the people who knew him best, liked him least. How does a major party Presidential candidate lose his own state?? That should tell you something.
It's also interesting to me that Clinton got more endorsements than Bush 41 in 1992 (understandably, I think), and yet got fewer endorsements than Dole in 1996, after he'd been in office for four years? Character and scandals.