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Ralston Reports

Our endorsement tracker

Buttons promoting voting at the University of Nevada on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 during national voter registration day. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

Do endorsements matter?

In presidential nominating contests, where people are paying close attention, less so than in other races, perhaps. But if a voter torn between a candidate or three needs a nudge, a prominent endorser might do the trick.

Endorsements also can be demonstrations of momentum — or a lack thereof. And a raft of endorsements says something about a candidate’s viability.

With that in mind, today we unveil our presidential candidate endorsement tracker, another part of our comprehensive 2020 coverage to help voters have as much information as we can give them before they cast a ballot — in the caucus or general election next year. Ours was put together by our Chief Technical Officer C.J. Keeney, UX Developer Peter Vogt and our lead 2020 reporter Megan Messerly — this is the same team that put together our presidential candidate tracker that won Best Digital Innovation from the Nevada Press Association this year. (We also give a tip of the hat to the fine folks at 538, who have an endorsement tracker of their own. Imitation, flattery, etc.)

As always, I want you to know that we did not take this responsibility lightly and tried to be fair and thoughtful about who we chose to include and what our points system would be. Subjectivity is inevitable, but we were as deliberative as we could be.

We knew going in that this would be a bit controversial, especially because, like 538, we have put a value on endorsements. Not everyone will agree, and I am happy to operate as a one-man complaint desk. We always welcome feedback from readers — and tolerate it from campaign operatives.

Please contact me at [email protected] with any feedback.

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