BBC: When An Attack Ad is a Vote Decider

I spoke with Georgina Rannard of BBC News about Americans’ love-hate relationship with the political attack ad:

“Campaigns use them because they work. Every bit of data shows that the negative spots work better than positive spots,” says political commentator and former Republican strategist Liam Donovan.

Commentator Liam Donovan says that in this election, Democrat challengers have been able to capitalise on voters turned off by the extremes of 2016 by using more positive messages:

“It’s easier to do as challenger than as an incumbent. The party in power is on attack.”

The other small difference this year in comparison to previous elections it that with so many negative ads running, a candidate cut could through the noise by running a positive one, he claims.

But those hoping for more positivity in American political advertising are likely to wait a long time say experts.

“It’s going to get worse in 2020 – it’s a one-way ratchet. Attack ads will work until we finally vote with our feet,” argues Mr Donovan.

Read the entire piece here.

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