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Minnesota newspapers on marriage, voting amendments: a resounding ‘No’

Minnesotans may be split on this fall’s two proposed constitutional amendments, but Minnesota’s newspapers are not.

Minnesotans may be split on this fall’s two proposed constitutional amendments, but Minnesota’s newspapers are not. Through Wednesday, no paper has endorsed Minnesota’s anti-gay-marriage amendment, and only two (the Fairmont Sentinel and St. Paul Pioneer Press) have said “yes” to the voter ID amendment.

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You can see the tidal wave of opposition in the chart below, which lists 50 state papers, their verdicts on the amendments, and links to their opinions.

Blank verdicts indicate the paper has not yet weighed in; there are a couple of marriage amendment maybes. Papers stating they will make no endorsement are listed as “pass.” Only editorials are counted, not columns from individual writers.

“Vote No Twice” forces have been greatly helped by opposition from the state’s two largest chains, Forum Communications and ECM. Forum (conservative but of a more libertarian bent) and ECM (founded by the extinct species of liberal Republican) each placed a corporate-sanctioned editorial in more than two dozen papers.

If you count each chain as a single entity, the marriage-amendment scorecard as of Monday, Nov. 5 is:

0 Yes
2 Maybe
20 No
3 Pass

On voter ID:

2 Yes
25 No

Do newspaper endorsements matter? Activists work hard to get them, but if they were always determinative, Norm Coleman would still be U.S. Senator.

I do know that that the opposition as of now comes from papers big and small, chain and independent, rural and metro. Newspaper readers tend to skew older … just like the voting public.

The table below indicates newspaper editorial positions on the proposed amendments. To read the editorials, click on the newspaper’s position. (Some editorials are no longer available online.)

Marriage amendmentVoting amendmentChain
ABC NewspapersNoNoECM
Albert Lea TribuneNoNo
Alexandria Echo PressNoNoForum
Austin Daily HeraldPassNo
Bemidji PioneerNoNoForum
Brainerd Dispatch
Byron ReviewNoNo
Caledonia ArgusNoNoECM
Chaska HeraldNoNo
Cloquet Pine JournalForum
Crookston Daily Times
Detroit Lakes OnlineNoNoForum
Duluth News TribuneNoNoForum
Ely TimberjayNoNo
ECM Post ReviewNoNoECM
Fairmont SentinelYes
Fargo ForumNoNoForum
Faribault Daily News
Farmington IndependentForum
Fergus Falls JournalNoNo
Hastings Star GazetteNoNoForum
Hibbing Daily Tribune
Hutchinson LeaderNo
International Falls JournalNoNo
Kanabec County TimesNo
Litchfield Independent ReviewNo
Mankato Free PressPassNo
Marshall IndependentNo
McLeod County ChronicleNoNo
Mesabi Daily NewsNoNo
Mille Lacs County TimesNoNoECM
Minneapolis Star TribuneNoNo
Monticello TimesNoNoECM
Morris Sun TribuneNoNoForum
Morrison County RecordNoNoECM
New Ulm JournalMaybeNo
Owatonna People’s Press
Park Rapids EnterpriseNoNoForum
Pine City PioneerNo
Princeton Union-EagleNoNoECM
Red Wing Republican EagleNoNoForum
Rochester Post-BulletinNoNo
Rock County Star HeraldMaybeNo
St. Cloud TimesNoNo
St. Joseph NewsleadersNoNo
St. Paul Pioneer PressOy.Yes
Shakopee Valley NewsNoNo
Swift County MonitorNoNo
S. Washington Cty BulletinNoNoForum
West Central TribuneNoNoForum
Wadena Pioneer JournalForum
Winona Daily NewsNoNo
Woodbury BulletinNoNoForum
Worthington Daily GlobeNoNoForum

See a newspaper editorial not listed here? Email it to or notify me at @dbrauer on Twitter.