Over the recent years, you may have noticed the direction that campaign ads have taken. It has become more and more negative. Looking at politics today, it's no different from a three-ring circus. Name-calling, finger-pointing, even attacking their opponent's lifestyle and family. Many people say they don't vote because of this infraction in our political system. But does negative campaigning really effect voters? The answer is no. Whether politicians choose to believe this or not, their good money and that of their contributors, would be better spent on campaign ads that just laid out their plans and political beliefs instead of relentless bashing of their opponents.
More than likely, when the public views these negative campaign ads they already have a candidate that they want to vote for. Their mind is not likely going to be changed by any amount of negative information or name-calling portrayed in the ads. Also, when negative ad comes on TV, people don't just drop what they're doing to see what its about. Voters are more likely to completely ignore a negative ad altogether when it's shown on television especially when that voter is a partisan and has firmly rooted political attitudes already established.
So, why do politicians still use it? Maybe they believe they can attract an indecisive voter. After all, it would be more effective to persuade a nonpartisan voter, or someone who doesn't particularly care for politics with a negative ad. However, if there is a potential voter who isn't as involved in politics and views politics as a dirty game, these negative ads might reaffirm these thoughts and turn that voter away from politics altogether. This would not be a great situation for that politician whose trying to sway that indecisive voter.
Since, these negative campaign ads don't necessarily effect voter turnout or political attitudes altogether, maybe these politicians need to stop resorting to elementary name-calling and tell us what the people want to hear. We want to hear what they can do for us and this country, not what their opponent has done and said in the past. The number one reason people say they don't vote is because of the way the voting process is and how campaigning has resorted to being nasty and repulsive. If our politicians can do this maybe politics won't be seen as a joke and there might even more people willing to participate in the voting process. If this happens, then we might actually see a difference in the way America deals with the politics and our political system altogether.