Is Campaign Advertising Going Negative?

It just might be a closer race for President Obama than anyone imagined, even after the fractured roller coaster ride of a Republican nomination process.  I mean, with all the Republican presidential candidates lacing into each other for so long, you would think that this would be more of a cake walk for Obama. Think again.

Communications and PR pros behind the scenes eagerly wait to pounce on anything that either candidate says that might seem “off” and blow it up into a mini firestorm that goes from press conference to TV stations, print media and social media both nationally and internationally. Clearly, both Mitt Romney and Obama have to think twice before saying a word.

Did Obama really mean the private sector is healthy and doing just fine? No. In my opinion, he said it to make a point about the dire needs of the public sector. Of course, the Romney camp jumped all over Obama’s remarks and turned the story into front page headlines. At least the birther debate seems to have died down a little. It should have, given the fact that Hawaiian state records prove that the Prez was born in America.

Should Romney give up his latest tax returns so we all can see donors and other information that might show that he has used tax loopholes? In my opinion yes, but he’s not forced to by law. So, the media has now pounced on Romney to disclose all of his taxes. The Obama campaign is also zooming in on Romney’s work at Bain Capital, saying that just because Romney is succeeded at getting investors money, doesn’t mean he would be good at running the country.

Do negative campaign ads work? I think to a point, but then voters get tired of the same ol’ negative rhetoric and start tuning the spots out. Now, with ads on radio, TV, online news sites, social media, blog sites, and more, these negative ads are everywhere, every minute, anywhere we turn.

This is definitely the busy season for media pundits of all stripes. The facts tend to get clouded, or sometimes we get partial truths with a very relevant point purposely omitted.  It’s like when I try to look at a menu without my reading glasses – very blurry.

To help get the facts straight and see the whole story, check out Fact Check is put out by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. It tries to clear the air on the right and on the left. For me, that’s a really positive start.

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