Negative Political Ads--- Good or Bad for Candidates? - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Negative Political Ads--- Good or Bad for Candidates?

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Bay County, Fla. -

It's quite popular to condemn negative advertising and most people will tell you, they dislike seeing the ads. But what is it that makes them lucrative to political campaigns?

For the last couple of weeks, campaign ads frequented every channel, talking about the negatives of one and the positives of the other, even mailboxes were flooded with reading material, which left voters asking questions.

Although the campaign tactic didn't result in a win for those who used it, it's important to note that they were up against the incumbents.

Michael Gattis, an assistant political science professor at Gulf Coast State College follows campaigns and says mud slinging has become a common practice. He says they work, and it may be the main reason those running against incumbents used it.

"You have a disadvantage when you are trying to unseat an incumbent. In this day in age it seems like the issues simply are not enough. Solution, we might run negative ads."

But the strategy has an effect on the voters. "It may put a sour taste in people's mouths but at the same time, it does get your name out there, it does get you some publicity and you are viewed as an alternative." Gattis says.

For candidates like Jim Lawson, a Bay County Commission candidate, it was about getting his message across. "All I wanted to do was reflect what I heard in this community over and over again." Lawson says.

Making the voters aware of the issues may be a strong suit, but some considerate it negative campaigning. "Negative campaigning that's not really in my nature. But if it takes something that could be viewed as negative to raise the issue…" Lawson says.

So whether the negative advertising affected the challengers, that's unknown. People will argue ads are annoying and others will say it's good for our democracy; they hold people accountable for their decisions.

The first amendment grants the right to free speech and most will argue, it's fair game.