On AG race, newspaper editorial board throws up its hands

No major newspaper endorsed Donald Trump in the election of 2016, so it’s easy to conclude that editorial endorsements don’t matter. Maybe. Maybe not.

Still, it’s interesting to note that the Star Tribune editorial board took a pass today on the state’s attorney general race, at least confirming that voters have seen better choices in its candidates over the years than Keith Ellison, dogged by an allegation of domestic abuse, and Doug Wardlow, followed by the people who knew him in his past and who say he was a bully to LGBT kids when he was a student and continues the practice.

For a position as sensitive as state attorney general, the Strib wants nothing to do with either of them.

Each candidate’s partisan past raises serious doubts about his ability to meet these thoughtful criteria. Assurances from both that they will keep ideology out of the office simply aren’t convincing.

Wardlow has served as counsel for a controversial conservative religious group. Ellison, a six-term U.S. House representative, remains in a national Democratic Party leadership role and scores poorly on a congressional bipartisanship index.

The Star Tribune raised an interesting point in its “least bad choice” editorial without diving into it: why did the insiders of both political parties choose heavily partisan candidates for the one executive office in Minnesota that should be most isolated from politics?

That’s a question that won’t get an answer, at least if you believe that newspaper editorials don’t matter.

And that would be most people, Pew Research found in its 2008 research which found 14% are positively impacted by a newspaper endorsement, 14 percent negatively.

It’s a push, in other words. An affirmation of the reality of voting anyway: you’re on your own. Figure it out.

Related: KSTP/SurveyUSA: Ellison Gains 4 Point Lead Over Wardlow in AG Race