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Negative Ads. What make an ad “negative”? How do voters respond to such ads?. Negative Campaign Ads. As a strategy Classic examples What lessons Always wrong? What effects? Turnout Voter opinions Blow-back. Negative Campaign Ads. Classic examples Begs questions: What is negative?

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negative ads
Negative Ads
  • What make an ad “negative”?
  • How do voters respond to such ads?
negative campaign ads
Negative Campaign Ads
  • As a strategy
    • Classic examples
    • What lessons
    • Always wrong?
    • What effects?
      • Turnout
      • Voter opinions
      • Blow-back
negative campaign ads1
Negative Campaign Ads
  • Classic examples
    • Begs questions:
      • What is negative?
      • What is unfair?
negative campaigns
Negative Campaigns
  • Classic examples
    • LBJ Daisy Girl ad
    • 1964 vs. Barry Goldwater Ad
    • Just once
  • What are voters supposed to hear?
  • What did they hear?
    • Vote LBJ, or they’ll nuke your kid
1964 goldwater
1964 & Goldwater
  • Daisey Girl
  • Ice Cream
  • KKK
  • Convention
  • East coast
1964 goldwater1
1964 & Goldwater
  • Would Goldwater have lost anyway?
    • Economy strong
    • Incumbent popular
    • LBJ also running positive ads
    • Nation at war
    • Goldwater did say those things
negative campaigns1
Negative Campaigns
  • Classic Examples
    • Willie Horton
    • 1988 Bush I vs. Dukakis
    • Lee Atwater… “only question, which hand”
    • Just once (or twice)
  • How define candidate?
  • Why able to define candidate?
negative campaigns2
Negative Campaigns
  • Classic examples
    • Willie Horton
  • Why did this one reach legend status?
    • Aired only once ‘anonymously’
    • Spawned free coverage
    • Woven into ‘official’campaignmessage
    • Opinion shifted
negative campaigns3
Negative Campaigns
  • Classic examples
    • Bush v. Dukakis 1988
    • Informal co-ordination (compare to superPacs)
    • Bush campaign could define an unknown candidate
    • Dukakis made it easy on them TANK AD
    • Media felt guilty, took it out on Bush I in 1992?
negative campaigns4
Negative Campaigns?
  • Dukakis had it coming?
  • Tank photo among 100 photos that change the World
    • Anne Frank portrait
    • Fire hoses and dogs in Birmingham, AL
    • Tienneman Square (tank standoff)
1988 dukakis
1988 & Dukakis
  • Would Dukakis have lost anyway?
    • GHW Bush Reagan’s VP
    • Reagan popular
    • Economy OK
negative campaigns5
Negative Campaigns
  • Classic example
    • Jesse Helms,Hands
    • 1990 US Senate vs. Harvey Gantt
  • Context matters
    • Helms campaign guilty of letters threatening black voters with jail if they voted
    • “qualifications don’t matter…”
negative campaigns6
Negative campaigns
  • Playing the race card?
    • Call Me, Harold Ford Jr.
    • Corker ad
    • RNC / Corker campaign accused of racism
    • Would Ford have lost anyway?
      • TN a “red” state
negative campaigns7
Negative Campaigns
  • Classic examples
    • Chambliss vs Max Cleland US Senate 2002
    • Karl Rove painting. Vietnam vet as unpatriotic
  • Link conservative Dem to OsBL
    • Could ad have happened if not for 9/11?
    • Bill Clinton recently said MoveOn ad lowest thing since this
    • Would Cleland have lost?
negative campaigns8
Negative Campaigns
  • More recent examples
    • 2004 National elections
    • Karl Rove
    • GOP, “These are the stakes”
  • Democrats = you will die?
    • at least that’s how they spun it
negative campaigns9
Negative Campaigns
  • Bush v. Kerry, 2004
    • SwiftBoat Vets (Kerry’s words)
    • SwiftBoat Vets (Kerry lying)
      • Independent hit from 527 org
  • Wolves
  • Windsurfing
    • Policy content? No appeal to fear?
kerry 2004
Kerry & 2004
  • Would Kerry have lost anyway?
    • Bush incumbent
    • Economy OK
    • Close election
    • Kerry led in national polls until August
      • No robust response to SBVT ads
negative campaigns10
Negative Campaigns
  • Recent examples
    • McCain 2008
      • First ad
      • Disrespectful
      • Highest percent of ads negative
    • Obama 2008
      • Country
      • Embrace
      • Enough $ to go negative and positive
2008 campaign
2008 Campaign
  • Any Democrat would have won
    • What effect of ads?
    • What effect of money?
2012 primaries
2012 Primaries
  • SuperPac spending vs. candidate spending
    • Gingrich SuperPac “What kind of man?”
    • Gingrich SuperPac “Blood Money”
    • Gingrich SuperPac ad Unelectable
    • Romney SuperPac Reagan ad
    • Romney SuperPac Unelectable
    • Romney Tom Brokaw ad
2012 primaries1
2012 Primaries
  • Compare to 2008 Primary
  • What effect negative ads?
  • Romney able to beat back Newt’s SC surge in FL
  • Could Romney win nomination w/o negative ads?
    • Romney’s “unfavorable” rating rising
negative campaigns11
Negative Campaigns
  • What lessons
  • Some on winning side, some on losing side
  • Potential to define a candidate
    • Goldwater, Dukakis, Kerry
  • Potential to de-mobilize (this may be goal)
  • Potential for blowback
    • Clinton ‘08 (3am ad)
negative campaigns12
Negative Campaigns
  • When wrong
  • What criteria to say, too negative?
    • Fear
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Policy?
    • Do we learn something…(other than fear, race, religion..)
negative ads1
Negative ads
  • What effects?
    • Reduce turnout (???)
    • Generate interest / attention to news
    • Generate dissatisfaction with choices
    • (Re)define candidate
      • Goldwater, Dukakis, Kerry, Romney
      • What if target lacks resources to respond…
the virtue of negative ads
The Virtue of Negative Ads
  • What effects; Prof. John G. Geer
  • Is there policy content/ learning
    • To change, to hold accountable, to change status quo needs being critical
    • Must have ‘vetting’
  • Analysis of ballot initiative ads
  • The Geer ad
best ad of late
Best Ad of Late
  • Dale Peterson for Alabama Agriculture Commission
    • First
    • Second