Negative campaign ads affect voters

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Just four years ago, only 6 percent of campaign advertising in the Republican party primary amounted to attacks on other Republicans, a figure that has shot up to over 50 percent in this election.

In an article reported by the Associated Press, the political parties have exposed voters to nearly $160 million in ads attacking congressional candidates, while only $17 million has been used to promote a positive image. That is nearly $1 of positive advertising for every $10 of negative advertising.

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a committee that campaigns for or against political candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation. Kantar, a company who tracks television advertising across the country, reported that super PACs, which have run more advertising than the campaigns themselves, have spent 72 percent of their money on negative ads.

According to the Washington Post, the negative ads are not only more frequent, but they appear to be more vitriolic.

The new message that candidates are sending the voters is this: Do not vote for a candidate; vote against the opponent.

Negative advertising benefits no one when it comes to political campaigns. These ads do not give constructive information about each candidate, which forces you to make an uneducated decision in preparing for the election.

If a politician is going to run, she/he should focus on the issues at hand, and let the people know what she/he is going to do about the current issue. It is time to have a president with a plan, who can keep promises and lead this country in a new direction. It is time for America to grow and become positive. Anyone can be negative, but it takes a person growing in positivity to be a leader.

According to the Political Communications Lab at Stanford University, the public’s sense of its own effectiveness has taken an even more dramatic dive. In 1960, nearly 75 percent of the American public felt confident in the capabilities of government and their own efficacy; today only 40 percent do.

Negative ads that do not show both sides produce cynicism and reduce voter turn out. Instead of proving to the American population that they should not vote for the ‘other guy’, why does not the candidate prove to the American voters why they should vote for the candidate himself?

Negative campaigning does not inform nor educate the voters as to what the platforms of the various candidates are. Voters do not know what to believe and can become confused and frustrated with the negative spin. If candidates were to only focus on the issues they stand for, voters would respond well and be more capable of making an educated and correctly informed decision.

Since the possibility of candidates focusing on what they stand for is slim, it is time America to stand up for themselves to take the initiative to become informed to make an educated decision so that we can have a president who can reflect the views and beliefs of this country of that of the American people.

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