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Thread: Do negative political ads in campaigns affect your vote for or against any candidate?

  1. #1

    Default Do negative political ads in campaigns affect your vote for or against any candidate?

    In the recent U.S. Republican caucus in Iowa and also in the primary in New Hampshire, there were many negative (mudslinging) political ads, usually from so-called Super-Pacs, would these ads influence your vote FOR or AGAINST any of these candidates?

    Also, are you in favor of Super-Pacs spending unlimited amounts of money for candidates seeking public office? Do you think that this is a First Amendment issue?

  2. #2

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    I think it depends on how accurate the claim is, and how pertinent it is to the candidate being fit for office.

    Take Rudy Giuliani using the NYPD as a limo service for his mistress a few years back. If I see negative ads about this, I judge Giuliani negatively and my opinion of the attacker is untouched. The claim is accurate, and I think that a history of using public resources for personal needs- particularly personal needs he needed kept under wraps- is a serious issue.

    If ads brought up the fact that a candidate got caught shoplifting a video game when he was 15, I think negatively of the attacker and neutral on the candidate. All people do stupid things as teens, just to different extents. If he's learned from the mistake and is now better for it, I think it's a non-issue and bygones should be bygones.

    I'm not in favor of unlimited spending by anyone in a campaign. Perhaps it infringes on a billionaire's right to free speech to limit how much money they can contribute to a campaign. But it infringes on many more people's right to free speech when the ultra-rich can spend sums money unfettered that the rest of America will never see in a lifetime. I think allowing anyone or anything to donate unlimited sums is the equivalent of saying anyone walking down the street can scream into a bullhorn.

  3. #3

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    I have to agree with NightFox. Context is everything, though I hate negative adds in general. I would rather hear what the candidates would do if elected, but they seldom tell us that. They don't reveal themselves because they're afraid they will be torn to shreds, but at some point, honesty is to be applauded. Poor Mitt Romney. Consumer's Report evaluated health care in the United States and listed Massachusetts as having the best health care system, yet Romney now must deny the merits of his own plan in order to win over the conservative right. How sad is that!

    As for super pacs, I believe this is related to corporations being judged as individuals by our idiot Supreme Court. Giant corporations can throw huge sums of money around and say absolutely anything. Sadly, stupid people will believe anything if it's something they want to believe, and then they vote. Democracy is going out the window.

  4. #4

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    I usually ignore most of the ads (positive or negative) outside of factchecking sites maybe pulling them up. I think negative ads can be useful when they are running against something credible to the race, or catches a candidate lying, but when it is just stupid stuff, or plain not true, is when they become dangerous.

    Mostly as I don't trust a lot of the voting public to actually do their homework before voting, so if a claim goes out that "Candidate A says he is for everyone, but what he isn't telling you is, he hates children! in 1967 (or some shit) he said "Children are icky! ew!!!" I don't trust people to realize that its pointless and they shouldn't worry about it. Call me cynical but I could see people going to the voting booth "Well I won't vote that Candidate A, because he thinks children are icky! Who cares if I agree with him on 95% of stuff, at least Candidate B (who I don't agree with) like children!"

    And yes, I do think a large majority of voters are that stupid.


    Did answer the second question, but no I do not think that anyone should be able to spend unlimited money in a campaign for public office. Hell I like the idea of just setting up a special fund for campaigns that gives candidates the same money, and eliminates any corporate or private donations period, as well as candidates from using their own money (I don't see that as limiting speech by the way).

  5. #5

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    Absolutely. Being Canadian, I've been sad to see the amount of negative advertising we've been seeing in our last couple of elections...
    The problem with negative ads is they almost always overexaggerate their claims, take things out of context, and beat on their opponents. That drives.me nuts.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbkitty View Post
    Absolutely. Being Canadian, I've been sad to see the amount of negative advertising we've been seeing in our last couple of elections...
    The problem with negative ads is they almost always overexaggerate their claims, take things out of context, and beat on their opponents. That drives.me nuts.
    I totally agree. The Liberals and the Conservatives mud slinging has been very bad lately. It's pretty much their whole campaign. In the last election I think people were getting very tired of it. Then the NDP, in stead of mud slinging actually campaigned fairly well and look how well they did.

  7. #7
    pamperchu

    Default

    Not really because I don't vote in the first place.

  8. #8

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    I'm okay with negative adds that are truthful and fair. Unfortunately, most of then are neither. Stephan Dion was right despite himself in that Conservative party ad: "this is unfair!". It really is, sometimes.

    As for Super PACs... I'll point you to "Americans for a better tomorrow, tomorrow" and ask if anyone actually thinks that something as insane and ridiculous as a Super PAC should be legal...


    Sent from my iPhone

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Near View Post
    I'm okay with negative adds that are truthful and fair. Unfortunately, most of then are neither.
    I mentioned in a separate thread but it bears repeating here. A few years back, there was an election involving a Republican and a Democrat somewhere in the northern states. One ran an ad accusing the other of stealing skin from cadavers to sell to hospitals. It was so outrageous a claim, public opinion turned against they guy who made the claim.

    Interestingly, the ad was almost entirely true. The only inaccuracy was that the candidate was merely arranging the sales from a funeral home to local hospitals, and not peeling the skin off personally. I don't remember which candidate was which, though I remember it being the Republican arranging the sales. Though I could simply be remembering things according to my cognitive bias.

  10. #10
    TheSpecterPrincess

    Default

    As long as there is any form of government (wherever it may reside) there will always be propaganda. I try not to pay too much attention to these adds. I can remember one add that particularly stood out to me whenever Bush ran against Al Gore. The Bush administration put out a anti-Gore commercial (as expected) where a woman giving a monologue made a comment that was basically "Al Gore spends time and tax payers money helping third world countries. I don't need that, I need a president that focuses on our own people !" Kind of selfish I thought. Either way, it didn't stop Ol' Georgie boy from spending tax payers money helping going to war with what is basically a third world country. A war that still isn't over.

    Anyway, to remain more current: I have seen no anti-Romney or Gingrich propaganda yet, but that's ok. Unlike the majority of Americans (television worshiping, bipartisan ,undecided voters) I try to base my political decisions on facts. Mit Romney is one of the richest men in the US. This is because he buys up businesses, then purposely runs them bankrupt. Then he collects all the revenue. In other words he makes money off of other peoples misfortunes. Fuck him.

    Newt Gingrich ? I'll let you guys do the research on this one. Trace back his history to the Reagan administration. He's just a saggy mouth, squint eyed son of a bitch. I don't care what anyone says, I'm voting for another term of Obama. Even if he didn't meet the status quo of "getting things done." He's still a lot better than these two Republican snakes. This country will take a long time to repair no matter WHO is in office. We had a complete retard in office for 8 years and the damage he's caused won't magically disappear any time soon.

    Sorry if I've offended anyone, but it's just the way I feel.

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