From NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann and NBC's Mark Murray
Obama today picks up nods from the Nashua Telegraph (NH) and Sioux City Journal (IA). Romney also gets the backing from the Sioux City Journal, and Clinton and McCain received endorsements from the Quad-City Times (IA).
Breaking down the Iowa papers, the Quad-City Times serves much of the typically more Democratic eastern half of Iowa, and the Sioux City Journal is the largest daily in more conservative Western Iowa.
The Quad-City Times was, notably, the venue where Obama and Clinton traded their very first set of direct hits during the summer. (Ah, the good ol days, huh?). In twin interviews with the Times' political reporter back in July, Obama derided Clinton's refusal to meet with rogue leaders, and Clinton accused Obama of being "naïve" and "irresponsible." The Q-C's endorsement doesn't reference the skirmish, but it does highlight Clinton's experience and passion for problem solving. On Obama, the board simply writes, " Not yet."
As for the Sioux City Journal's endorsement for Obama, it's great news for him, and bad news for John Edwards, who has been largely left out of the Iowa newspaper nod race. A big part of Obama's strategy in peeling voters off from the Edwards count is converting supporters in small rural precincts in the west, where many analysts think the race ultimately will be decided. In its endorsement, the paper highlights Obama's foresight, his forward-looking vision, and his impatience for "the 'that's-just-the-way-it-is' mentality of Washington, D.C."