Newt snags top New Hampshire newspaper endorsement

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Newt Gingrich’s surging Republican presidential campaign scored a big coup in New Hampshire on Sunday when the state’s largest newspaper endorsed the former speaker of the House.

The New Hampshire Union Leader made the endorsement in an editorial in the paper.

“Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate,” the newspaper wrote about Gingrich. “But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running.”

“We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing,” the editorial said.

The Gingrich endorsement comes as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to hold a solid lead in polls in New Hampshire, the first in the nation primary that comes after voters in Iowa register their voice at caucuses on Jan. 3.

The Union Leader endorsement could help shake up the race in the Granite State as the editorial page of the newspaper is known to use its ink to boost its favorite candidate up until the primary.

In 2008, the newspaper supported Arizona Sen. John McCain, who went on to win the state’s contest.

Follow Alex on Twitter