The Economist has endorsed President Obama for a second term, a decision it anticipated would surprise its readers. "Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama," the editorial says. "We beg to differ." The British magazine finds little to like in Mitt Romney's budget proposals, saying, "Yet far from being the voice of fiscal prudence, Mr Romney wants to start with huge tax cuts (which will disproportionately favour the wealthy), while dramatically increasing defence spending... However, even if you accept that Romneynomics may be more numerate in practice than it is in theory, it is far harder to imagine that he will reverse course entirely." Contrast that with the president:  "for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster..." 

The Economist's view of the competing budget proposals is very different from many of the newspapers who endorsed Romney this year. Romney's business record and pledge to shrink the federal debt is one of the most frequently cited reasons for backing him. Compare all the newspaper endorsements so far in our handy chart. From left, the columns show the publication, the endorsee, the publications reason for endorsing, and three previous presidential endorsements.