Negative Political Ads: Clutter or Effective? - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 10/23/07

Negative Political Ads: Clutter or Effective?

by Jon Kalahar


Less than two weeks until election day, are you tired of all the campaign commercials yet? It seems many of the ads are negative attacks as well. So can voters trust what they see in these commercials? Can you believe  the information in the commercials as fact?

During an election year, it can seem every commercial is touting a different candidate for office or attacking their opponent. The races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general seem to be the fiercest. Political consultant, Brad Chism says there is a method to what at time seems like mean spirited campaigning.

"The reason these ads are so vicious, the reason there's so much money spent is the stakes are huge," said Chism.

Oh, and there's one other reason, Chism says the negative ads work. They grab our attention. We remember them more than a feel good, positive commercial.

"They draw a contrast between the candidates. Candidates try to emphasize a set of simplistic notions about one's opposition," said Chism.

These negative ads can also backfire and leave opponents room to retaliate. And even worse, they can leave the candidate looking insensitive to whole groups of voters.

They call themselves the Emergency Coalition in Defense of Human Rights. And they believe certain campaign ads are racist against immigrants in Mississippi... both by democrats and republicans.

 "We do not need politicians whose only concern is getting elected. We need leaders who will represent the best interests of all of those working people in Mississippi," said Victoria Cintra, MIRA representative.

So in the end, what can you believe? Chism says do your homework.

"It's incumbent on the voter to sort through that and we'll have better government, the better job we do sorting through all the clutter," said Chism.

Brad Chism suggest going on-line to campaign web sites or sites like "You Tube" to see all the political commercials out there. We'll find out who voters believe November sixth.

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