In the 2012 presidential race, the student press appears to be pro-Obama. A review of college newspaper endorsement editorials reveals overwhelming support for the sitting president's reelection effort.
The near-universal theme of the endorsements: Obama has done a decent job amid a harsh economic climate and dispiriting partisan politics and is the better candidate to lead the country toward full-blown recovery.
Below is a sampling of endorsement editorials published in recent days.
The Daily Barometer, Oregon State University: "We all know Obama's presidency has not lived up to the lofty expectations everybody wanted and anticipated after his election in 2008. However, we do believe Obama has the country on the right trajectory, and his policies are forward-looking with a goal to make America strong in an ever-changing world. Romney, on the other hand, wants to go to back to the past. Obama put it best: Romney has the foreign policies of the 1980s, the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s. Those are policies of the past. We want to keep moving forward."
The Daily Californian, University of California, Berkeley: "Millions of Americans remain out of work. College students are suffocating under more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. Undocumented immigrants continue to function on the margins of society, awaiting comprehensive immigration reform so they, too, can openly pursue the American dream. But Obama is still the leader we need to overcome these and other obstacles... At the end of the day, Obama is the all-around better candidate. He's better for education, better for the economy and better for the American people."
The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University: "To treat this election as a referendum against some arbitrary standard of recovery in a nearly unprecedented economic crisis overlooks a large part of why we elect presidents. Not only has President Obama has shown himself an effective economic steward, but he also is prepared to make the choices necessary to keep America on top in the 21st century."
The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa: "In 2008, we elected our first African-American leader to preside over an era that seemed to hold the promise to be post-partisan and post-racial. When the fanfare died down and the recession-ravaged country proved less amenable to change than many had hoped, it was clear that President Obama would have to advance his agenda through the familiar muck of American partisanship. In the face of opposition notable for its belligerence, obstinacy, and, too often, its inability to compromise on issues basic to governance, Obama has led with strength in a time of economic and social struggle. During his first term, the president has advanced a remarkably broad, forward-thinking agenda and, as a result, we are markedly better off than we were four years ago. The Daily Iowan Editorial Board strongly endorses Obama for a second term; we stand behind his record and his plans."
The Justice, Brandeis University: "After his election to the presidency in 2008, President Barack Obama promoted an overarching policy of social change and, reflecting on this past presidential term, we believe he has done just that. Gov. Mitt Romney, though, is tied to a conservative ideology that embraces immense spending cuts, a repeal of integral health care as well as educational services and a platform that is not properly aligned with what our country needs."
The Pitt News, University of Pittsburgh: "No one would want to repeat the last four years. Yes, the economy has begun a slow recovery from recession. The stock market is up, and unemployment has finally dipped beneath the level President Barack Obama inherited from the Bush administration... With Obama, we can look forward to more moderate, at times progressive, policies and administrative continuity. With a Romney administration, we will see a huge question mark with unpredictable consequences."
The Tufts Daily, Tufts University: "Some elections, like 2008, are about transformative, revolutionary change, about uprooting the status quo and enacting sweeping reforms. 2012 is not one of them. This time around, we have a choice between moving forward in inches or backsliding in yards. But that doesn't make the choice any less clear or the result any less vital: America is best served if President Barack Obama is re-elected to a second term."
The Crimson White, University of Alabama: "Over the last four years, Barack Obama has worked diligently to heal the economy. He hasn't settled for superficial quick-fix measures, but rather has sought real and enduring progress; his policies aim to fundamentally revolutionize the way our economy functions both domestically and internationally. In the wake of a crippling financial catastrophe, Obama has found new ways for America to compete and prosper."
The Yale Daily News, Yale University: "We once chose Obama because he was inspiring. We wanted to vote because a man-- more than the issues behind him-- made us care. We cannot rely on that kind of motivation any longer. Indeed, the 2008 election was an outlier. Few elections ever pulsate with that kind of history-making energy. More often than not, politics is dirty and cruel -- and, most disappointingly, boring. Trendy logos and catchy songs cannot last forever. In their place, we have been given the Ryan budget and an extensive health care bill -- policy plans that few students, let alone elected officials, understand in their entirety... Vote for President Obama because he stands for what many of us believe, even when most of us are too tired, too bored or too indifferent to admit we believe it."
The Maneater, University of Missouri: "In an election season that's revolved around the economic downturn, healthcare, civil rights, women's rights and America's foreign policy -- one that's been drawn out for more than two years -- nothing has proven President Barack Obama isn't lifting the country back up. It hasn't been instantaneous, but the direction we're headed in is the right one."
The Daily Orange, Syracuse University: "Obama has faced criticism and challenges in his first four years in office. He will continue to face them -- maybe even more so -- if he wins the election. But for the progress he has made and the stands he has taken on issues, The Daily Orange Editorial Board thinks a second term of Obama in office is the best choice."
The Daily Campus at Southern Methodist University is the highest profile student paper to support Romney. As its editorial board noted, "The economic situation four years ago was terrible, but the so-called recovery of the last four years has been mediocre at best. President Obama, for all the well-deserved hype he received after his historic election in 2008, has failed to live up to the excitement. ... We do have several serious problems with Mitt Romney, particularly his backwards view on gay rights, and a reckless and unrealistic foreign policy and immigration policy. We believe that these issues have to take a backseat to the economy this year.... We don't pretend to think that Romney will definitely be able to fix the economy, or that recovery will be quick upon his inauguration. But what we can be sure of is that he will try, and he will try hard. This is the central issue of the campaign, and for this reason we feel Romney is the best choice for president this November."