TAMPA, Fla. - With the presidential election 17 days away, Florida newspapers are starting to make endorsements.
The Tampa Bay Times has recommended President Barack Obama, stating "This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past."
"We spend a lot of time talking about it. We talk to folks from both campaigns. We watch the debates," said Tampa Bay Times Editorial Editor, Tim Nickens.
Nickens said it came down to several issues, including healthcare reform and the economy.
"It's been a tough four years economically, but you can see from the unemployment rate, you can see from job creation that while it's not as fast as we would like, or as Floridians would like, it appears to be on the right track," added Nickens.
The Times also recommended President Obama in 2008.
So did the Orlando Sentinel, which is now endorsing Mitt Romney. The paper wrote, "We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years." However, they go on to call Romney "not our ideal candidate."
USF professor, Seth McKee, believes newspaper endorsements carry very little weight nowadays.
"Not terribly important, especially in a state like ours where you have such a divided electorate. I don't think a newspaper endorsement is going to do much," said McKee.
While Nickens doesn't expect the recommendation will make many voters switch, he thinks it's important that The Times makes a statement and believes it can be helpful.
"Perhaps we can put it into context, that will help them reaffirm their own decisions or give it a second look," said Nickens.
The Tampa Tribune is set to announce their endorsement Sunday.