Portent or opportunism?

PoliPundit notes that President Bush has picked up two surprising newspaper endorsements — one from the ultra-Democratic Sioux Falls Argus Leader in South Dakota; the other from the normally liberal Austin American-Statesman in Texas.
I’d like to think that these endorsements are part of what will become a pattern — late-deciding voters concluding that, in these times, we ought not trade in a decisive, proven leader for a tepid liberal waffler. I do believe that such a pattern will unfold. However, it’s possible, as PoliPundit suggests, that in the case of the Argus Leader, the real concern is with keeping readers in a state that will vote overwhelmingly for the president. In any case, the endorsement doesn’t sound like good news for Daschle.
HINDROCKET adds: Without yet having read the Argus-Leader editorial, I think I disagree. The Argus-Leader knows that Bush will carry South Dakota. The race the Argus-Leader cares about is Tom Daschle’s. I think the newspaper’s strategy is to lend what credibility it can to ticket-splitting: vote for Bush for President, but Daschle for the Senate. It’s actually a rather clever strategy, I think.
DEACON adds: You’re probably right, Rocket Man. But if that’s the strategy, it sounds at least as desperate as it does clever.

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