Jul 28, 2014
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UPDATED: Mirror Backs Blake; Register Picks Joy

What exactly does this mean for Milford's mayoral candidates' campaigns? One professor says, not much.

UPDATED: Mirror Backs Blake; Register Picks Joy UPDATED: Mirror Backs Blake; Register Picks Joy

Picking the candidate who they said has more political experience, greater fiscal restraint and a record of making informed decisions, the Milford Mirror has endorsed Ben Blake for mayor.

In making the decision, the newspaper wrote on Nov. 2:

"He loves the community, and certainly will do the best he can for Milford, relying on his education, intelligence, experience and the lessons he’s learned while making decisions as an alderman — decisions similar to those a mayor will be asked to make on a daily basis."

The original story follows:

Bob Joy was "very happy" yesterday when the New Haven Register endorsed him to be Milford's next mayor.

On his Facebook page for mayor, Joy's comment that he was "very happy" with the endorsement garnered 10 likes and 2 comments. The Republican candidate for mayor also posted this excerpt from the Register endorsement, which was published Nov. 1:

"Bernard 'Bob' F. Joy Jr., a first-term Republican alderman, knows budget specifics — the city’s bond rating, number of municipal layoffs — that escape his main opponent."

Milford Democrats are not reading too much into the endorsement. In fact, based on their experience in the last election, when the Register endorsed a Democrat for mayor who ended up losing, they said it could be a blessing in disguise. “Two years ago it did not help us any bit,” said Rich Smith, campaign manager for Ben Blake.

“The real endorsement that we care about is the endorsement of the voters of Milford on Nov. 8th,” Smith said.

According to Quinnipiac University Professor of Journalism Rich Hanley, an endorsement may not carry as much weight as it once did.

"Newspaper endorsements are artifacts of a period when voters received the majority of their information from print," Hanley said. "Today, newspaper endorsements are useful to a candidate only in that a candidate can use that information as a kicker for a television or online advertisement."

As for any correlation between endorsements and the winner on election day, Hanley added:

"The only study I'm aware of on the topic is one by Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania. She found no evidence of any impact of endorsements, a point raised in her book, "Everything You Think You Know About Politics and Why You're Wrong.'"

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