Political ads on television: How negative ads against opponents backfire
Unfortunately, John Kerry learned that negative ads do work, regardless of the lack of truth.
Mr. Kerry, assuming that the electorate wanted truth and would decry lies, did not respond immediately.
By the time he did the damage had been done. (And, to those who are happy Mr. Kerry lost, please remember this article is about ads, not Mr. Kerry, or for that matter one party over another.)
The problem with the ads is that they seem to not backfire against candidates so much as against the process as a whole.
"What those negative ads do is shrink the pool of people who are likely to vote," says David Procter of Kansas State University. "They believe that if they can do that and fire their own base up with these very emotional ads, it increases their chances of winning." *
"According to figures in news reports, political parties have exposed voters to an estimated $160 million in ads attacking congressional candidates alone, compared to just an estimated $17 million spent painting positive images of candidates. That’s just over $1 of nice for every $10 of nasty." *
The question is not "Why would I vote for John ‘who allegedly stole funds from his business’ Smith?"
Instead the question becomes "Why should I bother to vote at all?"
* http://www.k-state.edu/media/n ewsreleases/nov06/negads110306 .html