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USA Today backs Biden with first endorsement

USA Today, the nation’s highest-circulation newspaper, made its first presidential endorsement on Tuesday, announcing its support for Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE.

The paper’s editorial notes that more than 90 percent of voters have made up their minds, according to recent polling, and addresses voters who remain on the fence or may be wavering in their support for President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE.

“Maybe you liked [Trump’s] populist, anti-elitist message. Maybe you couldn’t stomach the idea of supporting a Democrat as polarizing as [Hillary] Clinton. Maybe you cast a ballot for a minor party candidate, or just stayed home,” the editorial states.

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“Now, two weeks until Election Day, we suggest you consider a variation of the question Republican Ronald Reagan asked voters when he ran for president in 1980: Is America better off now than it was four years ago?” it adds.

The editorial cites the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic recession and civil unrest over the past year.

The newspaper also said it spoke to numerous people in states that were key to the president’s 2016 victory, including Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“While some said they were personally better off, most of those willing to talk on camera expressed anguish and dismay about the nation's direction,” the editorial states.

While USA Today did not make an endorsement in 2016, its editorial board urged against voting for Trump without outright endorsing his Democratic rival, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit More than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020, setting record MORE.

“Will this endorsement have any effect on what you read about the presidential campaign in USA TODAY’s news reports? No. Will it cause the Editorial Board to pull its punches if Biden were to become president? Also no,” Tuesday's editorial states. “We may never endorse a presidential nominee again. In fact, we hope we'll never have to.”

The newspaper joins several other publications that have broken with tradition to make their first endorsements in support of the former vice president, including Scientific American and the journal Nature.