Front Pages Quiet on Debate Winners, Losers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 4 2012 9:35 AM

Today's Front Pages: Headline Writers Avoid Calling a Winner

As we explained late last night pundits wasted little time scoring Wednesday's debate a clear-cut win for Mitt Romney. But a quick scan of the morning's front pages shows that—fortunately for President Obama—the nation's headline writers and art team largely avoided specifics in the hours between when the debate ended and when Thursday's editions went to press.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

As you'll see there was the occasional talk of a "Romney doing well; Obama didn't err," but that type of punditry was largely relegated to subheads. A typical bold-faced headline, meanwhile, involved the two men "sparring," "clashing" or "debating."


Here's a small sampling from swing states around the country (via the Newseum, which has plenty more for you to look at here).

We'll start with the exception to the rule, the Denver Post, which called round one for Romney:


Many of the Post's print brethren, however, went the he-said/he-said route. The Des Moines Register:


The St. Louis Dispatch:


The Las Vegas Review-Journal:


The Charlotte Observer:


The Cincinnati Inquirer:


The Richmond Times-Dispatch:


The Miami Herald:


And, for comparison, the Wall Street Journal:




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