Negative Campaigns - Western Washington University

Negative Campaigns - Western Washington University

Negative Campaigns As a strategy Classic examples What lessons Always wrong? What effects?

Turnout Voter opinions Blow-back Negative Campaings Classic examples Begs questions: What is negative? What is unfair? Negative Campaigns

Classic examples LBJ Daisy Girl ad 1964 vs. Barry Goldwater Ad Just once What are voters supposed to hear? What did they hear? Vote LBJ, or theyll nuke your kid Negative Campaigns Classic Examples

Willie Horton 1988 Bush I vs. Dukakis Lee Atwater only question, which hand Just once (or twice) How define candidate?

Why able to define candidate? Negative Campaigns Classic examples Willie Horton Why did this one reach legend status?

Aired only once anonymously Spawned free coverage Woven into official message Opinion shifted Negative Campaigns Classic examples Bush v. Dukakis 1988 Willie Horton tip of genius iceberg Bush campaign could define an unknown

candidate (see Gary Hart 84, below) Dukakis made it easy on them TANK AD Media felt guilty, took it out on Bush I in 1992? Negative Campaigns? Dukakis had it coming? Tank photo among 100 photos that change the World Anne Frank portrait Fire hoses and dogs in Birmingham, AL Tienneman Square (tank standoff)

Negative Campaigns Classic example Jesse Helms, Hands 1990 US Senate vs. Harvey Gantt Context matters Helms campaign guilty of letters threatening black voters with jail if they voted qualifications dont matter

Negative Campaigns Classic examples Chambliss vs Max Cleland US Senate 2002 Karl Rove painting. Vietnam vet as unpatriotic Link conservative Dem to OsBL Could ad have happened if not for 9/11? Bill Clinton recently said MoveOn ad lowest thing since this Negative Campaigns

More recent examples 2004 National elections Karl Rove GOP, These are the stakes Democrats = you will die? at least thats how they spun it Negative Campaigns Recent examples Bush v. Kerry, 2004

SwiftBoat Vets Independent hit from 527 org Windsurfing Just for fun Policy content? No appeal to fear? Negative Campaigns Recent examples McCain 2008 Obama 2008

Negative Campaigns What lessons Some on winning side, some on losing side Potential to define a candidate Goldwater, Dukakis, Kerry Potential to de-mobilize (this may be goal) Potential for blowback Clinton 08 (3am ad)

Negative Campaigns When wrong What criteria to say, too negative? Fear Race

Religion Policy? Do we learn something(other than fear, race, religion..) The Virtue of Negative Ads What effects; Prof. John G. Geer Is there policy content/ learning To change, to hold accountable, to change status quo needs being critical Must have vetting

Analysis of ballot initiative ads The Geer ad

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