The Des Moines Register’s Big Move

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The Des Moines Register is releasing its super-important endorsement in the Democratic primary tonight. In Iowa, where the Drudge Report, the New York Times op-ed page, and the liberal blogosphere all influence opinions far less than they do on the coasts, a nod from the state’s largest paper can provide a campaign with a huge boost. It certainly did that for John Edwards in 2004.

So we’ll be on that here at MoJoBlog. The NYT has an excellent article on the length campaigns will go to get the Register‘s endorsement. Right now, the sexy pick is Joe Biden, though that may just be political reporters hoping for a bit of intrigue to cut the monotony of the campaign. A Biden endorsement would probably hurt Clinton, because they share voters who place a higher premium on national security experience and/or hawkishness than anything else. And if you subscribe to the theory that Edwards and Obama have like-minded supporters, a nod for either one will hurt the other. A Clinton choice would likely reenergize her drifting campaign.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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