Negative ads run the risk of turning off voters to the election as a whole

Posted at 10:10 AM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 18:34:46-04

With days to go until Election Day you will see a lot of polls, the one question you won't see asked of voters is their opinion on all the negative ads they're seeing. (Don't ask a question if you already know the answer.)

Most campaign seasons start off slowly enough with the positive "get to know me" spots that paint a given candidate as someone who loves their country, is kind to puppies and calls their mother at least once a week. When things heat up, they're normally followed by their opponents take, spots that tend to paint them as being just short of a menace to society.

In the final week as the airwaves are filled many voters are tuning out which makes them less and less likely to turn out.

"What it tends to do is on both sides and particular for independents drive them out of deciding to vote," said News 5 Political Analyst Dr. Tom Sutton of Baldwin Wallace University. "Because they get so disenchanted with what they see, they just say a pox on both your houses, I'm not interested in voting."

The good news, besides the fact that the election is almost over, is the fact that you've likely already seen the worst of it.

"I think right now it's just a constant repetition which then further has the effect of continuing to drive people out, so you're not going to see any new messaging unless there's something dramatic that happens in the last few days of a campaign."

Sutton said what you are likely to see is a smiling face or two at your door asking for your vote.

"Our studies continue to show the single most effective tactic is face to face interaction, it's all old school and it's basically because they don't just see a candidates campaign they see a person that supports that candidate," Sutton said.