I don’t know about you, but I despise political attack ads. The volume, frequency and tawdriness of the ads can absolutely ruin the viewing pleasure of anyone’s favorite program. They can also alienate a voter to the point where he doesn’t even vote. I know many people in the latter camp.
And, here’s a sobering statistic, political attack ads are becoming become more frequent with each passing election. According to The New York Times Senate candidates this year have spent some $200 million attacking their opponents — a significantly greater sum that during the 2010 midterms. Imagine if that money had been allocated, instead, towards research or education.
And, yet, according to Joan Phillips, a researcher at the Quinlan School of Business, political attack ads work. She says that, especially in presidential campaigns, attack ads will motivate a voter who was leaning towards one candidate to change her mind. With all due respect, I say balderdash.
I know countless people who are not only turned off by the ads but, critically, see their once favorite candidate in a whole new, negative light. That’s because these ads tarnish the image and reputation of the politician who’s slinging the mud; not the one on the receiving end of the barrage.
Agree or disagree with me, I’ll bet we do share one common feeling: we’re thrilled that this is the last day we’ll have to see all those nasty, sleazy ads (at least until the 2016 campaign kicks off in earnest).
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I’m Steve Cody and I approved this blog.