In an announcement, U.S. political editor David Scott stated that the change was made to comport with the Clinton campaign’s choice to refer to Clinton solely by her married name. Scott provided further background on the AP’s previous use of Rodham:
The AP generally refers to people by the name they prefer. Until recently, the presidential candidate, former senator and secretary of state used all three names. It was how she had been known for many years. It was the name she used as an author and how she signed legal documents (“H R Clinton”) as late as this summer.
However, the campaign has branded itself from the start as Hillary Clinton. When asked, the campaign says to go with Hillary Clinton. She is filing for ballots as Hillary Clinton and signing her name that way.
The Washington Post reported on the campaign’s preference for dropping “Rodham” earlier in the month. Clinton has used different iterations of her name over the years, which accounts for the variance in how publications refer to Clinton; the New York Times is still going with Hillary Rodham Clinton, for now.
12:45 p.m. Update: The New York Times has also dropped Clinton’s maiden name. “In referring to public figures, The Times generally uses the name preferred by the subject. The Times made the change after The Associated Press, The Washington Post and other news outlets did the same,” wrote Amy Chozick.