Romney picks up endorsements from Ohio, Fla. newspapers

Two regional newspapers in key swing states endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday.

The Tampa Tribune in Florida and The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio both threw their support behind the former Massachusetts governor. Both papers also backed then-GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election.

The Tribune and Dispatch split from other regional papers in Ohio and Florida by backing the GOP presidential candidate. On Saturday two other Ohio papers, The Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, recommended that voters reelect President Obama.

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The Tampa Bay Times also backed the president earlier this week, though The Orlando Sentinel strayed from its 2008 endorsement of Obama and choose Romney this time around. 

In their endorsements, the Tribune and Dispatch argued that Romney is better equipped to jump-start the sluggish economy, citing his former business experience and track record as governor of Massachusetts. The two papers also blamed Obama for the federal deficit soaring to over $1 trillion for four straight years and said his economic policies had failed to boost job growth.

"The president sincerely believes in the inviolable ability of the federal government to make all things right. But Americans should see that this top-down approach doesn't work," the Tribune wrote. "Romney, in contrast, would capitalize on individuals' ingenuity, not Washington directives."

The Dispatch argued that Romney's "election would be an immediate signal to the private sector that someone who knows what he is doing is managing the nation’s economic policy."

"The effect on business confidence would be dramatic and immediate, and business confidence is the vital ingredient needed to spur investment and hiring, the two things that the United States so desperately needs," the Columbus-based paper added.

With just a little over two weeks until Election Day, polls show the race between the two candidates is tight in the two battleground states. A poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) on Saturday found Obama up 49-48 over Romney among likely voters in Ohio. A Survey USA poll found the president with a narrow 1-percentage-point lead in Florida among likely voters, at 47-46.