Four of the five largest newspapers in Texas have issued their presidential endorsements, with three giving a seal of approval to Mitt Romney and one going for incumbent Barack Obama. (The Austin American-Statesman has yet to weigh in.) Here are some excerpts from those editorials.

Houston Chronicle: Mitt Romney, October 21

The Chronicle’s backing of Barack Obama in 2008 broke a 44-year string of endorsing Republican candidates for president. Like so many others, we were captivated by the Illinois senator’s soaring rhetoric and energized by his promise to move American politics beyond partisan gridlock and into an era of hope and change.

It hasn’t happened. Four years later, President Obama’s deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation’s unemployment rate to 6 percent. As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president’s attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector. The hurtful symbol of this attitude of insensitivity to Texans’ feelings was the administration’s choice to deny Space City’s bid to become home to one of the retired space shuttles.

We do not believe four more years on the same plodding course toward economic recovery is the best path forward for Texas or the nation. And so we endorse the Republican team, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, in the belief that they can do better by Texas and the nation. …

It has been an insult to the memory of American heroes like Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride to allow manned spaceflight to languish in the country that put men on the moon. The notion of paying $50 million a seat to Russia for commercial taxi service to the International Space Station is galling.

Obama has failed to articulate a bold vision of his own for the agency. That failure forsakes a legacy of scientific achievement that has showered benefits on the nation. This approach to NASA has abandoned the American imperative of lighting out for the territory and exploring new worlds. NASA’s legacy must be reclaimed.

Dallas Morning News: Mitt Romney, September 28

Barack Obama will forever be a historic, as well as historical, figure in American life. The 44th U.S. president, yes, but more noteworthy, he will forever be the first African-American to lead a nation riven through centuries by racial and ethnic division.

His election in November 2008 inspired. Even those who may not have supported him could not deny the significance.

With it came an optimism that the ideals he stressed as a candidate, like a post-partisan Washington where Democrats and Republicans worked together, were within reach. He took office amid great turmoil, a crashing economy and two wars atop his priorities.

Candidate Obama, an orator of great skill and cadence, might have overcome everything and put the U.S. on a brighter path. President Obama, unfortunately, fell short of the challenge. The wars have largely faded from headlines, but the economic struggles remain, along with an attendant worry about future federal spending, deficits and debt.

Obama’s Democratic supporters would argue that no one could have succeeded in what he inherited, that the nation’s problems were far more severe than anyone could handle in four years.

We respectfully disagree. On the central issue that will define his presidency — a stalled U.S. economy weighed down by crushing annual deficits and accumulated debt — Obama showed himself to be less leader than follower. While he expended his political capital on new government programs, unemployment stayed at debilitating heights.

For that reason, this newspaper recommends Republican challenger Mitt Romney for president.

San Antonio Express-News: Barack Obama, October 22

The United States will face major challenges over the next four years. For the first time in history, its citizens confront the prospect of handing down to the next generation a nation that is less wealthy, less healthy, less secure and less in control of its destiny.

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have both laid out plans to avert such national misfortune. Both candidates are earnest in their desire to make the 21st Century another American Century. We believe President Obama has demonstrated a better grasp of the essential issues and offers a better vision for the United States. Voters should give him a second term in the White House.

Obama took office four years ago amid a meltdown of the nation’s financial, housing and labor markets. He acted swiftly to continue and enhance what had been bipartisan measures to stabilize those markets. He also took new steps to tighten regulations on banks, create a floor under the rising number of home foreclosures and stanch the loss of up to 800,000 jobs per month while also rescuing the U.S. auto industry.

The results: a stock market that has risen more than 60 percent since Obama took office, housing starts in September up 38 percent from one year ago and 31 consecutive months of job growth. …

No candidate has all the right policies — that includes Barack Obama. But having weathered the challenges of the last four years, we believe he is in a better position to guide the nation over the next four years — and has earned from voters the privilege to do so.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Mitt Romney, October 20

Given the final two minutes to speak during Tuesday’s second presidential debate, President Barack Obama quickly spotlighted what he said was the key distinction between his re-election candidacy and the campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“There’s a fundamentally different vision about how we move our country forward,” Obama said.

He’s right, and “fundamentally different” is what the nation needs. For that reason, Romney should be elected president on Nov. 6.

The slow U.S. economy and its discouragingly high unemployment overshadow the other important issues in this election. Economic recovery must be spurred to a faster pace, and a change to Romney’s leadership would do that. …

Romney is an agent of change whose primary campaign thrust has been the economy and his plans and qualifications to improve it.

On this front, he is highly qualified, both by business experience and public service.

No one should doubt that his economic recovery plan — a 20 percent cut in tax rates, additional tax breaks for upper-income individuals and reducing the budget deficit, all with no increase in taxes on the middle class — is but a loose sketch of a policy approach.

Details will have to be developed through working with legislative leaders from both parties who thus far have not made much progress on the nation’s fiscal problems.

Romney has laid out a consistent theme focused on encouraging business innovation and growth, reducing government spending and its economic footprint and educating and retraining people to take new jobs.

That theme is a winner, and Congress will be receptive when Romney brings it.

The editorial board of the Austin American-Statesman has yet to issue an endorsement.

And the Corpus Christi Caller-Times has refused to endorse anyone:

We have decided not to endorse for President of the United States.

Some of it is keeping our focus sharply on local content. More of it is a reflection of the vast amounts of information about the race already available to readers. So much is available out there now in whatever form, shape or slant you could want. Frankly, our opinion isn’t going to influence how anyone will vote for president. Plenty of information is readily available for readers to make up their minds.

The local races are where we try to provide information and analysis you can’t get anywhere else. We invested well over the 30 hours in interviews to assess candidates and put forth what we analyzed from those one-on-one discussions and incumbents’ performances while in office.