A team of academics just discovered what political pros have known for years: Negative advertising works. “Adding to the discussion of violent rhetoric among politicians and the media this week, a study released Wednesday says that the 2010 midterm election was one of the most negative elections ever,” Alexis Levinson reported in The Daily Caller on January 13, 2011. “In the study, based on data collected in the Wesleyan Media Project, the successor of the Wisconsin Media Project, Erika Franklin Fowler and Travis N. Rideout examined 4,576 gubernatorial, House, and Senate ads aired in the 2010 campaign.”
“The study, entitled Advertising Trends in 2010, found that the “tone” of campaign ads was overwhelmingly more negative than in previous election cycles. Dividing ads into the categories of attack ads, promotional ads, and contrast ads (those which compared two candidates), the study found that 53.5 percent of campaign ads were attack ads. Republicans were on the offensive slightly more than Democrats, with 56.8 percent of all Republican ads being attack ads, compared to 52.5 percent of Democrat ads.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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