The Electomatic Negative Campaign Monitor keeps an eye on negative political activities around the world, dirty tricks employed where ever we find them. All readers are encouraged to contribute sightings and experiences from anywhere in the world. Read more about Dirty Campaign Tricks here.
March 26 2016 – The Ted Cruz vs Donald Trump Wife War. The Republican nomination contest has largely descended into pure negative campaigning (with John Kasich nicely hugging someone in a town hall somewhere outside the spotlights). We barely notice negative TV-adverts anymore. Sinister robocalls and casual name calling barely registers. Now we need nude photos of candidates wife’s, insinuations about the mental health of family members, tabloid pieces alleging infidelity (of course not with one but five mistresses) and attempted character assassinations on prime-time tv to really get roused into action. Yes. All of this happened in the last week of Republican campaigning in an ever more dirty battle with ever decreasing political substance.
Go see a few recent examples of the state of affairs expressed in political satire cartoons and memes.
March 19 2016 – Hillary Clinton Needs To Go Negative – Says Negative Campaigner. Hillary Clinton is a bore. Unable to show real emotion or connect. Incapable of getting supporters enthused. These and several arguments along the same lines argue that due to her flawed personality and shortcomings as a candidate Hillary Clinton has no choice but going negative. Obviously. The piece is not exactly meant as friendly advice. It is meant to remind and define Hillary Clinton as all those things. And to draw a frame where any attacks from Clinton campaign can be returned with a “You are only saying that because you are boring zombie“. Check out Nymag and Buzzfeed for examples on these stories.
March 15 2016 – Campaign Fear by David Cameron – PROJECT FEAR: Negative Campaign in UK. Cameron claims Brexit will make streets MORE DANGEROUS in desperate plea. DAVID Cameron has warned Britain only has “100 days to secure our future” in a desperate bid to sway voters to opt to stick with the EU in the upcoming referendum – Brexit Campaign Fear
March 11 2016 – David Cameron on Brexit – Negative Campaign in the UK. The scaremongering and negative campaigning is full on in the British Leave/Remain campaign. The EU referendum has seen scaremongering claims of floods of immigrants, thousands of jobs lost and prices going up. Further dirty tactics are employed by the REMAIN campaign led by prime minister David Cameron who has used his governmental powers to get the Chambers of Commerce CEO to resign for speaking out for a Brexit, the CEO of BBC got sacked for supporting a Leave vote and all governmental workers including cabinet ministers have been blocked from access to information or ressources if used to argue for a Brexit – follow the Brexit Opinion Polls – and have a look at the latest Brexit Scaremongering
January 29 2016 – Republican Caucus Iowa. Ted Cruz launches negative TV commercials attacking Marco Rubio – http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/29/ted-cruzs-negative-ads-go-after-marco-rubio-rather-than-donald-trump/?_r=0 – Senator Ted Cruz, scrambling to put down a growing threat in Iowa from Senator Marco Rubio, is shifting nearly all of his negative advertising from Donald J. Trump to Mr. Rubio for the final three days of the caucuses.
January 15 2016 – Republican Primaries in SC, Iowa and New Hampshire. Plenty of negative TV commercials by the Jeb Bush campaign and his super-PACS, primarily aimed at Marco Rubio – Why Some GOP Candidates Aren’t Taking The Fight To Trump. There are millions of dollars worth of anti-Rubio ads airing right now in IA/NH/SC. Not a dime against Trump. Let that sink in for a moment.
Studies on Negative Campaigning Effects. February study from Wesleyan Media Project on the American Presidential primaries for the 2016 elections – http://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/releases/update-on-nv-and-sc-contests/ – Clinton and Sanders Even in Ad War, Cruz and Rubio Gain on Bush in S. Carolina. Outside Group Ads Continue to Flood Airwaves in Record Numbers, Republican Ads Attack Rubio, Rubio Attacks Clinton
Negative Campaign Science
The Science Of Political Advertising. Advertising and negative ads from psychological perspective – http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/advertising.aspx – Tired of political ads? The positive ones with unfurling flags and smiling children? The negative ones with grainy images of opponents? Well, gird yourself. Campaigns will spend upward of $3 billion on broadcast television ads for the 2012 presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections, a record-breaking amount, according to Moody’s Investment Services. With this much money on the line, you might assume that media consultants know what works and what doesn’t. However, they rarely pay attention to burgeoning research by psychologists and other social scientists who are exploring whether the images and emotions evoked by campaign ads actually sway voters, researchers say.
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