Hurting candidate’s feelings

Pundits don’t like negative campaigning. I do. At the very minimum, negative campaigning has a screening effect: people with questionable records will not bother to become candidates–and that is important if you only have a say every 6 years.  But does negative campaigning work? Does it hurt somebody’s feelings, other than the pundits? Here is some evidence… with videos included.

Going Negative

Advertising Tone Manipulations

Positive Tone Negative Tone
Crime: Feinstein Crime: Feinstein
Crime: Wilson Crime: Wilson
Environment: Feinstein Environment: Feinstein
Environment: Wilson Environment: Wilson
Women’s Rights: Boxer Women’s Rights: Boxer
Women’s Rights: Clinton Women’s Rights: Clinton

  Winning, but losing
How negative campaigns shrink electorate, manipulate news media By Stephen Ansolabehere and Shanto Iyengar

Once upon a time, this country divided itself neatly along party lines. Most people voted; those who did not fended to be poorer, less well educated, and more apathetic, but still party loyal. Television has changed all that. Now, we are split by a new division: between loyalists and apathetics. On the one hand, media propaganda can often shore up loyalists to vote for their traditional party; on the other hand, that same propaganda is increasingly peeling off a band of citizens who turn from independence to apathy, even antipathy, toward our political institutions.