Negative Messaging

According to Fridkin and Kenney, “negative campaigning is not uniform.”  The mechanics related to negative advertising are based on three criteria:
1.  The content of the negative message (issue driven vs. personality driven)
2.  The source of the message (who’s running the ad:  a candidate or an outside group)
3.  The characteristics of the citizens hearing the message (political novices)

Which of the criteria above is the most important factor as to how successful a negative message will be?

14 responses to “Negative Messaging

  1. Sammia Shehayber

    I think the most important factor as to how successful a negative message will be is the content of the advertisement. The message should be strictly issue driven instead of attacking the opponent’s character because it does not say anything about how they will do in that position they are running for. People want to here about the issues because that is majority of what they base their vote off of.

  2. Renad Shehadeh

    The most important factor as to how successful a negative message will be is the content message that is being delivered through the advertisement. The content of the message should convey voters who to run for. The message should focus more towards the negative affects of his or her opponent rather than focusing on their personal life. Its important to keep in mind to not over step your boundaries, its good to show voters that your confident and bold, but not hateful. The content of the message can win or lose an election.

  3. Graziella LiVolsi

    The success of a negative ad relies most importantly on the issues presented. Even if you are a novice when it comes to politics, you may still have a strong opinion on a current issue, and if an ad negatively shows a candidate for or against the issue, you may be driven not to vote for them. Hot topic issues that are up-to-date and relevant will catch a viewer’s attention in advertisements. Come time to vote, the voter might still remember that ad and the candidate’s opinions on an issue, steering them to vote in their favor.

  4. William Tobias

    I believe the characteristics of the citizens hearing the message is the most important. Every citizen should really look at the message the politicians are putting out there. The politicians could put all B.S. out there in their ads. Sad to say that most people don’t look into the message itself. Like Hillary Clinton. She lies about everything and it seems like a lot of people just believe her and don’t look at the real truth. So all the messages could be all false, it is up to the citizens to look into it. Stay informed people.

  5. Anyone can run a negative ad, but I think the most important criteria in how successful a negative ad will be is the content of the message. The negative issues that could be portrayed in the message could hurt a candidates chance of winning. The personality aspect of it is hard because if you don’t know the person how can you judge them based on the message. The issues part is easier because you can see what they want to do or what they don’t want to do.

  6. Muhammad Matariyeh

    I believe the success of an depends on the issue addressed, as well as the group communicating the message. Oftentimes, when a third-party group which I respect issues a message regarding a candidate, I am more compelled by it.

  7. I believe that the content of the negative message is most important. I feel as though knocking an individuals personality is more negative towards the person who’s mocking the person’s ideas and attributes. However drawing that persons negativity in responses to issues is much more likely to be successful. For example, Saying that “so-and-so greatly raised taxes to pay off ____ debts meanwhile they still collect a good six or seven figure chunk of money every year” is more likely to be successful over negatively bashing an individual’s personality such as “The person has a dry sense of humor, talks too fast and forgets what he/she is saying often.”

  8. I agree with #1 criteria. When one decides to throw something negative at the opponent’s personal life, it makes it easy for people to attack their character or supposedly give people an idea on someone’s morals. It seems people are more personality driven then issue driven. They should be focusing on the issues the candidate would take into their hands instead of their personality. In the long run, people will vote for the personality driven person but then realize that they won’t agree on some of their issue driven problems they want to work towards.

  9. I think it’s the characteristics of citizens. It all depends on how the people take the message. It’s their choice if they think it’s negative or not depending on their personality.

  10. I think the content of the message is most important. A political candidate has no business attacking someone’s character. It is much harder to measure someone’s character than it is to measure their view on an issue. Sometimes politicians can have weird or uninviting personalities and still make for wonderful leaders. I personally feel like ad’s that attack a politician’s character are a waste of time and not informative to whether or no he/she will be a good candidate.

  11. the characteristics of the citizens hearing the message is most important because ultimately they are the ones casting the vote. the majority of them are political novices so they need to be spoon fed who to vote for. your ads will be that spoon

  12. Melissa Johnson

    The success of a negative ad is based on the characteristics of the citizens hearing this message. Everyone who votes is not a politician or even keeps up with politics. So the ad is shown. If you are following politics you can find that these ads are not always 100% true. If you are a political novice you watch these negative ads and vote on the “better candidate” these people are castings votes along with experts in politics.

  13. I think the characteristics of the citizens hearing the message is the biggest determining factor when it comes to how effective a negative ad will be. If you are a political novice and don’t know much about politics you don’t know any better, you are more gullible if you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and it’s easier to believe everything is at least in part true. Before this class I personally didn’t even know people other than candidates could run ads. My lack of knowledge on the subject interfered with my ability to tell an effective ad from an ineffective ad and I think this is a problem many American citizens may have.

  14. In my opinion I think that characteristics of the citizens is the most important because they are the ones who will have the biggest reaction. It really does not matter about who is running the ad because to the people making the ad it might not be that negative. On the other hand in could be very negative to the citizens.

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