Opinion: Endorsements? Some readers see them as how not to vote

A Los Angeles voter marks her ballot in the California primary election  on March 2
A Los Angeles voter marks her ballot in the California primary election on March 2.
(Los Angeles Times)

Over the years editing this letters page, I’ve learned one truth about the Los Angeles Times’ election endorsements: The farther down ballot the race is (think judges, community college trustees and school board members), the more readers clamor for a recommendation by our editorial board. For all the talk about newspaper endorsements losing relevance in this polarized, digital age, an awful lot of readers throughout this campaign season have inquired about when the editorial board’s recommendations will be published. (For information on the makeup of the Times Editorial Board and how it works, click here.)

But as that immutable law of motion dictates, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of the newspapers endorsements, we’re often reminded by some readers that they intend to do the opposite of whatever our editorial board recommends. This space is dedicated mostly to those reactions.

Jim Meaney of Camarillo is grateful for our “guidance”:


I breathlessly await your editorial voting guide leading up to each election so that I know I only need to vote exactly the opposite of every L.A. Times suggestion to make sure I’m casting my ballot in a responsible fashion.

Thank you for your continued guidance.

Jeff Pressman of Bell Canyon believes his values run contrary to the editorial board’s:

The list of which candidates and ballot propositions your editorial staff supports was very helpful.

As a voter that believes in personal responsibility, law and order and limited government, I simply need to look at The Times’ endorsements and vote the opposite.

Ken Grow of Newbury Park laments the editorial board’s left-of-center politics:

I have been reading the Los Angeles Times since 1954 when I was a young boy and would peruse the baseball box scores. It has been disheartening to see this once-great newspaper go off the rails these past four years with its advocacy of so-called progressive politics and frequent rants against the current president.


So, one might imagine how thrilled I was after mailing my ballot this week and then reading The Times’ endorsements of the various propositions. I voted contrary to nearly every one of its recommendations.

Perhaps I have been too hard on The Times. It has taught me well.

Ted Zachariadis of Los Angeles is among a handful of readers who expressed no surprise at the Joe Biden endorsement:

I couldn’t believe that you dedicated so much space to your endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden. To top it, mentioning the nine people of your editorial board and the stringent criteria they used to come up with their recommendation was the icing on the cake.

Having shown nothing but antipathy for President Trump, even before he was elected, you should have just published one simple sentence: “We are against President Trump.” That would have been enough.