Monday, September 24, 2012

Negative Political Ads

Recently I was surprised to hear this statement from a conservative whack-job friend: "The negative ads are running 5 to 1 from the Obama people." By which he meant that the Obama campaign and associated PACs were running five negative television ad spots for every one run by the Romney camp and fellow travelers.

I found those numbers to be ludicrous and wildly out of proportion. So I did some research. I discovered that over 70% of all television advertising in the 2012 presidential race has been classified as "negative" by both liberal and conservative election watchdog sources. Everyone agrees this is the most negative campaign in nearly a century. But 5 to 1 that didn't seem possible. So I asked some liberal friends about their assessment of the balance between negative Romney vs. negative Obama ads. They said it was running about 3 to 1 in the opposite direction. Three negative ads from the republicans for every one by the democrats.

Well of course! If you support Romney and detest Obama then all the democrat ads look negative and most of the republican ads look like the truth. I had completely overlooked the obvious fact that these reports were coming from partisan observers. So I got a hold of a few actual independent voters and sure enough they told me it was about 50/50 but they were sure they had not seen the 30% that were allegedly non-negative ads. "Every single ad is an attack ad or some accusation of evil-doing by the other side."

Let me remind you of my earlier antidote to this nonsense. You are in control. You can mute the sound and not listen to the crap that both the democrats and republicans are spewing at you 24/7. Stop watching, stop listening. Have a martini or a snickers or a bowl of blueberries both an antioxidant and an antipoliticant. Or you can continue to follow the campaign and let the propaganda from "your side" demonized friends and neighbors who support the other guy.

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