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Voters' debate reaction shows resistance to negativity

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posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:27 AM
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Voters' debate reaction shows resistance to negativity


www.cnn.com

(CNN) -- A moving graph at the bottom of the CNN screen during Tuesday night's presidential debate measured the reactions of uncommitted voters in the swing state of Ohio, and it seemed to bear out the theory that negative campaigning draws negative voter reactions.

Analysts say undecided voters don't like negative attacks, from either side.

Nearly every time one candidate threw a jab at the other, the voter reaction dipped measurably.

The dips were minor for small digs but slipped further if a candidate continued criticizing his opponent.

For instance, reactions of both men and women voters slid into negative territory when Republican Sen. John McCain said that trying to nail down Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's tax policies is like "nailing Jell-O to the wall." Watch the criticism and the reaction

Similarly, the reaction line took a dive when Obama discussed McCain's votes in the Senate against alternative fuels. Watch the graph go down at this point.

Such negative reactions are typically seen in voters who are undecided, said Merle Black, professor of politics and government at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

"They don't like negative campaigning," he said. "It doesn't matter whether it's one side or the other."

But while each candidate saw dips when criticizing his opponent, voters' reactions were more positive when each began talking about specific plans and ideas regarding the national economy, the war in Iraq, the environment and other issues.

Voters are "worried about real issues," Black said. "They want the candidate to address that. ... That's what the voters are interested in. They know it's a big mess out there, and they want to know what the alternatives are."

With less than a month to go before the general election, McCain's campaign said before Tuesday's debate that he planned to "take off the gloves." In addition, both campaigns have launched negative advertising campaigns against the opponent in an effort to win over undecided voters.

The stakes for McCain are high, as most polls show him trailing Obama.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 9-10-2008 by grover]




posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:27 AM
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This is one of the most encouraging signs of this election cycle... it proves more than anything else that voters are actually paying attention and in doing so are rejecting negativity no matter where it comes from in favor of serious dialogues about the issues.

For too long now, for far too long we have been submitted to nasty campiagns and attack ads that have absolutely nothing to do the issues and people are getting sick of it.

And this does not bode well for McCain since his campaign is already on record as saying that they need to change the subject away from the issues and to Obama if they are to have any chance of winning at all... and... if we talk about the economy, we lose.

Thing is people apparently don't want to hear it. In short they are saying win or lose talk about the issues or shut up.

www.cnn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



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