How Successful Are Negative Ads in a Political Campaign?
Ads in the presidential race have gone negative and are expected to continue on that trend for the balance of the campaign. How successful do you think these tactics will be?
“All of those negative ads that he’s running won’t do a thing to lower your gas prices or to lift up the debate in this country,” said then candidate Barack Obama about ads that were being run by his opponent, Sen. John McCain, in 2008. “The fact is, these Washington tactics do the American people a disservice by trying to distract us from the very real challenges that we face.”
But that was then and this is now.
ABC News Blogs report that despite that statement, the Obama campaign has been flooding Iowa and eight other battleground states with TV ads attacking Republican rival Mitt Romney for his financial investments and alleged ties to outsourcing. Although he decried it four years ago, a sluggish economy and tight race appears to have set the president on a path to using those same tactics himself. ABC News reports that of the 68,000 plus Obama ads that aired between June 2 and July 2, about 52,000 were negative. Republicans say they are an attempt to distract voters from the president’s actual record.
It could be argued that the ads do not “lift up the debate in the country,” but the real question is, do they work?
Are you likely swayed by negative ads in any campaign? Do you listen to what is said in negative ads and will the information likely change your vote?