The article, “Do negative campaigns work?” carries with it a great significance for American voters especially this voting season. Over time, negative campaigning, or mudslinging, has become a classic feature in American politics as candidates often choose to discredit each other in their battles for victory. While the effects of negative ads have been recognized, their acceptance and suitability have always been a center of research and debates since while they may work, they are not necessarily appropriate. The article thus succeeds in exploring the effectiveness of this controversial form of campaigning to reveal that while negative campaign ads are influential, they are double-edged swords that could bring calamity or success. By exploring the issue from an open perspective, the article presents an argument that resonates with readers who are interested in the dilemma posed by negative campaign ads.
The “ThisNation.com” article begins by exploring that indeed, negative ads have effects on our society as they influence both voters and candidates. A key strength of the piece is that it manages to provide data on current sentiments towards negative ads: those for and against it. The piece reveals that on one hand, negative ads are most effective since their feature; negativity is easier to remember for audiences/voters than positive messages are. In contrast, according to other studies, negative campaigning depresses voter turnout as it largely troubles voters who while they are the target, find the negativity appalling. While using a recent poll, the article extensively accounts that among the respondents, 59% believed campaigners deliberately twisted the truth and 39% saw candidates as liars. Further, 43% believe that during campaigning seasons, unfair attacks on opponents are prominent while another 45% believe that unfair attacks are done.
However, a revealing deduction from the survey is that a majority, 87% of voters are disturbed by the prominence of personal attacks in political campaigns today. The data reveals that perceptions towards negative campaigning are soar among the public who detest them but under very particular circumstances. The piece is enlightening as it reveals that while voters may hate negative campaigning, in some circumstances, they might accept its relevance and usefulness. For instance, when the ads reveal a candidate’s hypocrisy, non-compliance to taxation, current drug abuse, and special-interest campaign contributions, the ad will be considered useful. In this instance, the voters will consider the usefulness of the campaign since it will have been relevant to voter education and voter decision-making. In contrast, irrelevant ads are disregarded as their promoters are disregarded for their apparent attacks when they cite past financial and drug problems or exploit family members. While the effect of negative campaigns or their authenticity will never be ascertained, a key point to note is that their influences are prominent either positively or negatively. When voters view an ad’s messages as relevant, the ad becomes successful and otherwise when it is considered irrelevant. The article suggests a rule of thumb in campaigning that as a candidate, one should “never, never use negative campaign …