Iowa’s largest newspaper has endorsed candidates from both parties a little more than a week before the state caucuses.
The Des Moines Register’s editorial board endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Marco Rubio on Saturday, nine days before voters in the state start the nomination process.
The board said it faced “tough decisions” and made its endorsements after six weeks of candidate interviews and independent research.
“Our goal was to select two candidates who have the skills and experience to lead their parties, and ultimately, the country,” the newspaper wrote.
It called Clinton an “outstanding candidate” who “has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad.”
Clinton took to Twitter, saying she was “honored to have the @DMRegister’s support.”
This is the seventh newspaper — the second in Iowa — to endorse the former secretary of state in her bid for the Democratic nomination. The Storm Lake Times endorsed Clinton earlier this month, calling her “the best choice for Democrats in 2016.”
Four current cabinet members have thrown their support behind Clinton. She has also received support from national organizations — including Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign — and a number of high-profile celebrities like Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga and Lena Dunham.
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In endorsing Rubio, the newspaper’s editorial board said the Republican party could head into a new direction under his leadership. According to the newspaper, “he represents his party’s best hope.”
The Des Moines Register is the first publication to endorse the Florida senator.
Rubio has also received endorsements from four current senators, and more than a dozen House representatives including South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy.
While Rubio did not mention the endorsement during his town hall in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday, he did speak to reporters after the event, saying he hoped it would boost his support in the state.
"I think they have recognized that ours is an issues-based, ideas-based, solutions-based campaign," he said. "We are excited and grateful that they recognized that and hopefully that influences more people to caucus for us.”
The latest poll, conducted by CNN/ORC, puts Rubio in third place in Iowa with — 14 percent support — behind GOP frontrunner Donald Trump who sits on top at 37 percent, and Ted Cruz with 26 percent. Meanwhile, Clinton is in second place in the Iowa CNN/ORC poll with 43 percent support — 8 points behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has 51 percent support in Iowa.
The Des Moines Register's endorsements come as Conservative media personality Glenn Beck officially endorsed Ted Cruz on Saturday, who was campaigning with the Texas senator in Ankeny, Iowa.
The Iowa caucuses take place on Feb. 1.