Campañas negativas 101

El martes pasado hubo dos elecciones para gobernador en USA. El incumbent Corzine (Dem) perdió la gubernatura de New Jersey frente a Christie (Rep). Corzine utilizó campañas negativas y perdió.  En Virginia, McDonell (Rep), quién casi no usó campañas negativas, derrotó a Deeds (Dem).   ¿Acaso estos resultados evidencian que las campañas negativas no funcionan?

Lee Sigelman at The Monkey Cage, responds:

From Josh Marshall over at TPM:

I’m hearing a number of people say that the upshot of last night was a rebuke for negative campaigning. But I don’t buy it. Because it misconstrues cause and effect (…) The reason negative campaigns often lose isn’t necessarily because people don’t like negativity. It’s because you usually get into running a negative campaign because that’s the last card you’ve got to play. McDonnell could run a feel good campaign because he was kicking Deeds butt pretty much the whole way. Conversely, Corzine didn’t lose because he ran a negative campaign. He ran a negative campaign because he was incredibly unpopular with New Jersey voters. And making Christie equally unpopular was really his only path to victory. This is elementary.

This is so elementary that even I agree. In Virginia, Deeds, the trailer, did what a trailer should do: try to move undecideds and McDonnell supporters toward himself. Lacking a charismatic personality or a set of compelling policy appeals, his only resort was to attack, attack, attack. He shot his big gun early and often, and then he had nothing left that could have caught him up. Meanwhile, McDonnell, as the clear front-runner, was able to do what a front-runner should do: wage a more positive campaign that emphasizes his appealing personal qualities. The McDonnell campaign’s response to Deeds’ relentless attacks was, I thought, masterfully done. (…) The elementary point restated: It’s not so much that attackers lose as that losers attack.

Como antecedente, estas son las encuestas a lo largo de las respectivas campañas (via
NJ Gov: Christie (R) vs Gov. Corzine (D) / VA Gov: McDonnell (R) vs Deeds (D)