cross-posted to my data viz blog, Plots with Christine.

updated Nov. 3, 2016 to add The Economist’s Clinton endorsement

The New Yorker is endorsing Hillary Clinton for President in its October issue. A Democratic endorsement from a historically liberal magazine is not too newsworthy, but it got me wondering: Which magazines have endorsed presidential candidates (and how often)?

Unlike newspaper editorial boards, which I’ve written about in the past, magazine editors generally do oversee a lot of published content. Perhaps for this reason, it is not common practice for magazines to endorse candidates.

But some magazines have made endorsements over the years. And several others have voiced their opinions for the first time this year. Some of them are quite colorful.

Noah Veltman’s tally of newspaper endorsements inspired me to make my own graph to track magazine endorsements:


Where possible, I’ve included links to and interesting excerpts from the actual articles. Click on the magazine title to see for yourself, or explore the raw data here. This is not an exhaustive list – just something I cobbled together – so feel free to reach out if you think I’m missing something!

* first-time endorsers in 2016

The Economist | The Nation | The New Yorker | The New Republic | Foreign Policy* | The Atlantic

Scientific American* | Wired* | Nature

Pop Culture
Rolling Stone

Glamour | Latina* | Vogue*

Philadelphia* | Loveland Magazine* | The Reader*

The Advocate

Christianity Today* | World*

> The Economist
back to list of titles

Has endorsed presidential candidates for the U.S. (since 1980), UK and others in the Leaders section. This article provides a summary of U.S. presidential endorsements from 1980 through 2012.

2016 (Clinton): “ … our vote goes to both Mrs Clinton and her party. Partly because she is not Mr Trump, but also in the hope she can show that ordinary politics works for ordinary people—the sort of renewal that American democracy requires.”

2016 (anti-Trump): “Donald Trump’s victory is a disaster for Republicans and for America.”

2012 (Obama, Dem.): “America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill.”

2008 (Obama, Dem.): “Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.”

2004 (Kerry, Dem.): “It is far from an easy call … on balance, our instinct is towards change rather than continuity: Mr Kerry, not Mr Bush.”

2000 (Bush, Rep.): “The Economist, if it had a vote, would choose George W. Bush. It prefers his small government, pro-market philosophy. And, on the simple test of the two crises, he wins on points: behind on a foreign crisis, but well ahead in a domestic one.”

1996 (Dole, Rep.): “We choose him on the assumption that … he would be more prudent than his economic plan implies. That is an awkward basis for an endorsement. But the choice is a lousy one.”

1992 (Clinton, Rep.): “…the issue of this election is not ‘trust’; it is ‘change’ …. [Clinton] could mark an end to divided government and could, if he used the presidency well, begin to bring Americans, black and white, rich and poor, closer together. Despite the risks, the possibilities are worth pursuing. Our choice falls on him.”

1988 (None): “It is not that Mr Bush and Mr Dukakis are rapscallions …. But what they are not, it seems, is presidential.”

1984 (None): “The task is likely to fall to Mr Reagan. His popularity owes much to the surging economy, with far steadier prices, over which he presides …. This is not to deny that Mr Mondale could make a fine president.”

1980 (Reagan, Rep.): “The justification of a Reagan gamble is the prospect that the Republican governing establishment available from four years ago is, at almost every level, more impressive and more reassuring than the central coterie and the usually powerless cabinet generals Mr Carter has used these past four years in Washington.”

> The Nation
back to list of titles

Unsure whether The Nation officially endorsed candidates prior to 2012.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “We know that some readers will find it hard to vote for Clinton; we ask them to think again. Not just about forgoing the advances that a Clinton administration could achieve if progressives were empowered …. But also to reconsider the balance between expressing their own disgust and diminishing the size of Trump’s repudiation.”

2012 (Obama, Dem.): “What was true in 2008 is still true today: electing Obama is a necessary first step, but the more complex challenges commence after election day.”

> The New Yorker
back to list of titles

Began endorsing with Kerry in 2004 and has done so in an article entitled “The Choice” for every presidential race ever since.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “The election of Hillary Clinton is an event that we will welcome for its immense historical import, and greet with indescribable relief.”

2012 (Obama, Dem.): “Obama’s America—one that progresses, however falteringly, toward social justice, tolerance, and equality—represents the future that this country deserves.”

2008 (Obama, Dem.): “… America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama.”

2004 (Kerry, Dem.): “In every crucial area of concern to Americans … Kerry offers a clear, corrective alternative to Bush’s curious blend of smugness, radicalism, and demagoguery.”

> The New Republic
back to list of titles

I couldn’t find articles from TNR prior to 2000, so the endorsement information is from secondhard sources. It has not yet officially endorsed a candidate for 2016.

2012 (Obama, Dem.): “Without a second term, the accomplishments of his first would evaporate. This is not a poetic rallying cry, but there is human suffering to be minimized and a new foundation to defend.”

2008 (Obama, Dem.): “[Obama’s] election offers an opportunity to roll back the Bush legacy and perhaps–if he turns out to be the rare transformational president that occurs when man and moment meld–even restore us to our former beauty.”

2004 (Kerry, Dem.): “The next time an American president tries to use force in the war on terrorism, he will not merely lack the world’s trust, he will lack much of the American people’s as well. That may be Bush’s most damning legacy of all. He has failed the challenge of these momentous times. John Kerry deserves a chance to do better.”

2000 (Gore, Dem.): “Al Gore may not be the most charming man in politics, but on many of the critical questions of our time–from his warnings about global warming to his hostility to Slobodan Milosevic, from his insistence on deficit reduction to his support for welfare reform–he has not simply been right, he has been right before much of the rest of the political class even started paying attention.”

1996 (Clinton, Dem.): source
1992 (Clinton, Dem.): source
1988 (Dukaksis, Dem.): source
1984 (Mondale, Dem.): source
1980 (Anderson, Indep.): source
1972 (McGovern, Dem.): source

> Foreign Policy*
back to list of titles

First time endorsement. Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on October 9, 2016.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “ … we deeply value our relationship with all of our readers, regardless of political orientation …. We feel that our obligation to our readers thus extends now to making clear the great magnitude of the threat that a Donald Trump presidency would pose to the United States …. Fortunately, not only is Trump opposed by a worthy candidate, but his opponent is, on foreign-policy and national security issues — all of the areas we cover here at FP — one of the best qualified candidates this country has produced since World War II.”

> The Atlantic
back to list of titles

Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on October 5, 2016. Has only endorsed presidential candidates three times in its history: 1860, 1964 and now, as “of no party or clique” is the magazine’s founding motto.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “We are confident that [Clinton] understands the role of the United States in the world; we have no doubt that she will apply herself assiduously to the problems confronting this country; and she has demonstrated an aptitude for analysis and hard work …. [Trump] is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”

1964 (Johnson, Dem.): “We believe that as the first Southerner to occupy the White House since the Civil War, the President will bring to the vexed problem of civil rights a power of conciliation which will prevent us from stumbling down the road taken by South Africa.”

1860 (Lincoln, Rep.): “We are persuaded that the election of Mr. Lincoln will do more than anything else to appease the excitement of the country. He has proved both his ability and his integrity; he has had experience enough in public affairs to make him a statesman, and not enough to make him a politician.”

> Scientific American*
back to list of titles

Published an anti-endorsement – its first – against Donald Trump on September 1, 2016. “Scientific American is not in the business of endorsing political candidates. But we do take a stand for science—the most reliable path to objective knowledge the world has seen—and the Enlightenment values that gave rise to it.”

2016 (anti-Trump): “When the major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago, we can only hope that there is nowhere to go but up.”

> Wired*
back to list of titles

First time endorsement. Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on August 18, 2016.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “… she is the only candidate who can assess the data, consult with the people who need to be heard, and make decisions that she can logically defend. Sure, she’s calculating. She’s tactical. There are worse things you can ask of a person with nuclear codes.”

> Nature
back to list of titles

Unsure whether Nature officially endorsed candidates prior to 2008.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “Clinton is a quintessential politician — and a good one at that. She has shown tremendous understanding of complex issues directly relevant to Nature’s readers, and has engaged with scientists and academics.”

2008 (Obama, Dem.): “On a range of topics, science included, Obama has surrounded himself with a wider and more able cadre of advisers than McCain …. This journal does not have a vote, and does not claim any particular standing from which to instruct those who do. But if it did, it would cast its vote for Barack Obama.”

> Rolling Stone
back to list of titles

“Rolling Stone has championed the ‘youth vote’ since 1972, when 18-year-olds were first given the right to vote.” Co-founder and publisher Jann S. Wenner writes endorsements during some years. In the past these have been paired with interviews of the candidates. I couldn’t find the actual 1992 and 2000 articles, and I’m not 100% sure RS did not endorse anybody in the years I’ve put in grey.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): RS endorsed Clinton over Sanders in the primary. “This is not the time in history for a ‘protest vote.’ … On the question of experience, the ability to enact progressive change, and the issue of who can win the general election and the presidency, the clear and urgent choice is Hillary Clinton.”

2008 (Obama, Dem.): “We need to recover the spiritual and moral direction that should describe our country and ourselves. We see this in Obama, and we see the promise he represents to bring factions together, to achieve again the unity that drives great change and faces difficult, and in­convenient, truths and peril.”

2004 (Kerry, Dem.): “We need to recover the spiritual and moral direction that should describe our country and ourselves. We see this in Obama, and we see the promise he represents to bring factions together, to achieve again the unity that drives great change and faces difficult, and in­convenient, truths and peril.”

2000 (Gore, Dem.): source

1992 (Clinton, Dem.): source

> Glamour
back to list of titles

Editor-in-chief Cindi Leive wrote an note in support of Hillary Clinton (her first endorsement) on October 6, 2016 and encouraging young women to vote. I couldn’t find the actual 2000 article for Gore.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “She has not waged a perfect campaign, and as you’ll see in our interview, many of you have real, valid questions for her about trust and policy. But Clinton has survived a brutal hazing process to emerge as a qualified candidate with a true commitment to women—which, by the way, has less to do with the fact that she is a woman and more to do with how she sees us.”

2000 (Gore, Dem.): source

> Latina*
back to list of titles

First time endorsement. Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on October 14, 2016: “We know that just as we represent a spectrum of identities and cultures, we also represent a vast array of political views. But this is no ordinary year.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “A vote for Hillary Clinton is not only a rebuke against Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks; it is a better choice on the vital issues that matter most to us.”

> Vogue*
back to list of titles

First time endorsement. Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on October 18, 2016: “Vogue has no history of political endorsements. Editors in chief have made their opinions known from time to time, but the magazine has never spoken in an election with a single voice. Given the profound stakes of this one, and the history that stands to be made, we feel that should change.”

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “We understand that Clinton has not always been a perfect candidate, yet her fierce intelligence and considerable experience are reflected in policies and positions that are clear, sound, and hopeful.”

> Philadelphia*
back to list of titles

First time endorsement. Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on June 21, 2016: “We’ve weighed in before on mayors, but the White House is out of our coverage area. Not this time, though. Not with the Democratic National Convention coming to town, and not with Donald Trump on the ballot.”

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “ … this endorsement has little to say about policy, or even ideology. That’s because the decision before us is more elemental than that. It boils down to this: Do we forsake everything? Have we concluded that the best we can do is burn it all down? Or do we instead elect Hillary Clinton, an admittedly imperfect candidate but one who has the temperament and resilience that the presidency requires? Welcome to Philly, Hillary. Go get him.”

> Loveland Magazine*
back to list of titles

The Ohio-based magazine’s editor, David Miller, was inspired by The Atlantic’s Clinton endorsement to publish an anti-endorsement – its first – against Trump on October 10, 2016.

2016 (anti-Trump): “I don’t believe newspapers should tell people who or what to vote for …. However, when it came across my desktop that The Atlantic was making only their third endorsement of a presidential candidate since 1860, I decided to suspend my self–righteousness. The Atlantic says what I want to say about Donald Trump, but with eloquence that I cannot muster.”

> The Reader*
back to list of titles

First time endorsement. Officially endorsed Hillary Clinton on October 7, 2016: “The stakes are just too high in 2016 to do nothing, to remain silent.”

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “… this election season we find ourselves in strange company as conservative newspapers are tripping over themselves in a rush to line up behind Clinton …. But it probably doesn’t matter. No, not in the least. I’m probably just wasting ink here.”

> The Advocate
back to list of titles

Made its first presidential endorsement (for Obama) in 2012, spurred in large part by President Obama’s statement in support of marriage equality.

2016 (Clinton, Dem.): “ … Clinton has made LGBT inclusion a pillar of her campaign, from the first video announcing her candidacy. She has produced the most complete and impressive LGBT platform of any presidential candidate ever …. There is only one capable candidate in this election, and only one candidate who is a champion of LGBT causes. That clear and necessary choice is Hillary Clinton.”

2012 (Obama, Dem.): “We cannot expect any president to be the balm for all our ills, but Obama has demonstrated through word and deed that he is capable of understanding and tackling the issues, with foresight and intellect, that affect a minority population, particularly the last group of people it’s still legally permissible to deny rights to in the United States.”

> Christianity Today*
back to list of titles

Has never made a presidential endorsement: “As a non-profit journalistic organization, Christianity Today is doubly committed to staying neutral regarding political campaigns—the law requires it, and we serve our readers best when we give them the information and analysis they need to make their own judgments.” Published an anti-endorsement against Donald Trump on October 10, 2016.

2016 (anti-Trump): “ … since his nomination, Donald Trump has been able to count on ‘the evangelicals’ (in his words) for a great deal of support …. Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.”

> World*
back to list of titles

Has never made a presidential endorsement, though it did call for Bill Clinton’s resignation in 1998. Published an anti-endorsement against Donald Trump on October 11, 2016.

2016 (anti-Trump): “Although WORLD over its 30 years has been more critical of Democrats than Republicans, particularly because of the abortion issue, we are not partisan. The standards we applied to Bill Clinton in 1998 are relevant to Donald Trump in 2016. A Trump step-aside would be good for America’s moral standards in 2016.”