July 25, 2012 |
NORFOLK, Va. - For a glimpse of a presidential contest that seems to have degenerated into little more than name-calling and distortion, spend a day watching TV in this historic Virginia port. The first attack ads hit around 5 a.m., before dawn breaks over the nearby Atlantic beaches. When they finally end, well past midnight, more than 200 repetitions of the 30-second spots have swamped cable and broadcast stations in the midsized city of Norfolk. It's a spectacle that most of the country is being spared - thanks to a pattern of swing-state ad spending that largely bypasses major population centers like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where the election isn't in doubt.
July 8, 2012 |
In this pivotal election year, fellow citizens, I give you a chilling vision of two Americas. One America is the swing states, the dozen or so states that don't fall into the Democratic or Republican camps and will ultimately decide the presidential election. Those unhappy states - they know who they are - are already being flooded with noisy political advertising, day and night. The other America, the happier America, is what political strategists call "safe states. " In these lucky places, television viewers are mostly safe from being inundated with presidential political harangues.
June 11, 2012 |
Democrats and Republicans nationwide will be closely watching Tuesday's runoff election to decide who will finish the term of injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- a seat that is crucial for the Democrats' campaign to regain control of the House in November. The runoff in Arizona's politically moderate 8th District follows a shooting rampage in January 2011 outside a Tucson grocery store that gravely wounded Giffords and killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, and wounded 11 others.
May 13, 2012 |
The television commercial is designed to spark outrage. "Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on green energy went to jobs in foreign countries," it intones. "The Obama administration admitted the truth - that $2.3 billion of tax credits went overseas, while millions of Americans can't find a job…. American taxpayers are paying to send their own jobs to foreign countries. " But the widely broadcast anti-Obama ad, paid for by a conservative group called Americans for Prosperity, is highly misleading - a slick pastiche of untruths, half-truths and exaggerations.
April 9, 2012 |
With Rick Santorum staying off the campaign trail for another day to be with his hospitalized toddler, front-runner Mitt Romney has suspended the barrage of negative campaign ads he's been airing. That seems like a humane move, and he seems like the sort of guy who'd do it for that reason alone. But it may not be the only reason for Romney to call back the hounds. Studies have shown that attack ads tend to reduce public esteem for the target. What's not so clear, however, is whether they inflict more damage on the candidate who uses them.
April 9, 2012 |
Mitt Romney has ordered a temporary pause in his saturation bombing campaign against Rick Santorum. It's the latest twist in the high-stakes Pennsylvania primary contest , which could be the final showdown of the 2012 GOP race. Romney's campaign announced Monday that it has pulled back an anti-Santorum attack ad “out of deference” to Santorum's decision to stay by his ailing daughter Bella's bedside. The 3-year-old, who suffers from a congenital condition known as Trisomy 18, is improving but remains in the hospital, where she has been since Friday, according to Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart.
February 19, 2012 |
In poll after poll, Americans say they don't like negative campaigning. Yet in the final week of the Florida primary, more than 90% of the ads broadcast were attack ads. That's not likely to change in the run-up to Super Tuesday. So why do candidates rely so heavily on a kind of advertising voters say they abhor? Because it works. To understand why, you have to consider what we know about how emotions work - and the different ways our conscious and unconscious minds and brains process "negativity" during elections.
January 31, 2012 |
Newt Gingrich, facing a double-digit loss to rival Mitt Romney that some predict will doom his presidential bid, sought to turn the results of Tuesday's critical Florida primary into a victory, arguing that the contest is now defined as between himself and the former Massachusetts governor. "Florida did something very important coming on top of South Carolina. It is now clear this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader Newt Gingrich and the Massachusetts moderate," Gingrich told a few hundred people in a half-empty ballroom here.
January 26, 2012 |
Hours before they would meet in a crucial debate, a furious Newt Gingrich lashed out at GOP rival Mitt Romney on Thursday, accusing the former Massachusetts governor and his supporters of slinging a “sea of mud” that is dishonest, hypocritical and impacting his fortunes in Florida. “I am angry, and every American should be angry,” Gingrich told reporters after a morning rally. “How can somebody run a campaign this dishonest and think he's going to have any credibility running for president?
January 16, 2012 |
Stepping up his counter-attack against ads assailing his record, Rick Santorum called a news conference and demanded that Mitt Romney ask a super PAC supporting him to take down an advertisement that he said suggests he supports allowing felons in prison to vote. "Unfortunately, we see the politics of negativity, not surprisingly, when a candidate is challenged and particularly when Gov. Romney is challenged," the former Pennsylvania senator said, accusing Romney of sending "his henchmen" to spread "disinformation.