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Psychology of Campaign Ads
Psychology of Campaign Ads

AIR DATE: November 8, 2010

If you turn on your TV or radio, you're bound to hear a campaign ad. Political action committees are funneling millions into flooding the airwaves, firing at Harry Reid or Sharron Angle in one of the most hotly contested races of the season. But what's the effect of all these ads? Do voters choose one name if they hear it enough? Or do they change the channel? Do accusations of race-baiting or talk of taxees have any effect? What's the psychology behind campaign ads, and what strategy are political teams using this election? Experts hammer out the ads and how they're impacting us. Can campaign ads change your vote?

Dan Hart, Democratic political consultant, Dan Hart and Associates
Ryan Erwin, Republican political consultant, Ryan Erwin and Associates
Yanna Krupnikov, Asst Prof of Poli Sci, Indiana U

comments powered by Disqus
I think TV and radio stations should charge 5 times for negative attack ads vs positive ads. Make it part of campaign finance reform...
David MuzoNov 1, 2010 16:57:06 PM
The politicals ads (and robo-calls) are a HUGE waste of money. I tune them out completely. Anyone using the ads to make a decision are simple-minded sheep. (in my humble opinion) :)
Laurie [via email]Nov 1, 2010 11:32:50 AM
Ryan Erwin is simply incorrect. Senator Heck did vote against a bill to ensure coverage of the vaccine against 70% of the HPV vaccine. The CDC identifies the virus as the cause of 100% of cervical cancer cases. It is indeed a cervical cancer vaccine. Joe Heck did vote against it. He did say at the time that he considered cervical cancer to be the result of "risky behavior" by women, by which he meant having sex, even once, with any male partner. He later said it would "drive up the cost" of health insurance. He never discussed the cost of those estimated 10,000 Americans who contract cervical cancer each year.

The point here, with respect to your topic, is that the press does such a poor job of covering issues that arise in government, such as legislative votes, that it leaves candidates free to refute their records during campaigns. Joe Heck's record is clear and Dina Titus accurately reflected that in her advertising. If that's a negative ad, its because its a negative record.

Jessica [via email]Nov 1, 2010 11:29:04 AM
Thank God for the MUTE and FAST FORWARD buttons! Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had it right - we need to "take it down a notch" (or two, or three). The political ads have disgusted me to no end.
Maggie StoneNov 1, 2010 09:45:24 AM
I am a Dina Titus supporter, and yet I find Dan Hart's response to the Titus anti Heck ads to be unbelievable. If he knows that the facts are correct...say so. He is evasive, unpersuasive, and sounds like he is trying to cover up untrue statements in ads about Joe Heck.
FredNov 1, 2010 09:34:46 AM
I think we all should protest the negative ads by not voting for any candidates who use them. WE ALL NEED TO VOTE,but none of the above would send a clear message.
Irene BradlleyNov 1, 2010 09:27:21 AM
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