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The News Media and the Rise of Negativity in Presidential Campaigns

  • John G. Geer (a1)

Negative ads have become increasingly common in presidential campaigns. Figure 1 well illustrates this point (see also West 2009). The upcoming 2012 elections will almost surely augment this upward trend of more and more negativity. In fact, with the emergence of Super Pacs, the share of attack ads in 2012 will likely be significantly higher than in 2008, which in and of itself was the high-water mark for attack ads in the modern era. The harsh tone of the battle for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination certainly points toward an exceptionally nasty fall campaign.

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Kim Fridkin , and Patrick Kenney . 2011. “Variability in Citizens' Reactions to Different Types of Negative CampaignsAmerican Journal of Political Science 55: 307–25.

John Geer . 2006. In Defense of Negativity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Richard R. Lau , Lee Sigelman , and Ivy Brown Rovner . 2007. “The Effects of Negative Political Campaigns: A Meta-Analytic Reassessment.” Journal of Politics 69: 11761209.

Lynn Vavreck . 2009. The Message Matters: The Economy and Presidential Campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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