Do negative political campaigns affect democracy? – Term Paper

Negative advertising in political campaigns

Behind everything done, there must be a valid reason. I purpose to explain in profundity the depths of how certain theories entertain and influence campaigns. I will explain how the certain ideas take a dramatic effect on how population determines whether a person is worthy of a political position. I will also highlight the challenges the society faces when not media literate as media illiteracy does seem to take a toll on how candidates target particular audiences, enabling them to pursue a population based on market research and even the “standpoint theory.”  Media literacy will help understand the political campaigns and the challenges particular politicians undergo during the campaign process.

I have made considerable progress in my project. I’ve gathered enough information through questionnaires, interviews on various groups and observation. I’ve also gone to the extent of studying books, journals, and magazines. I believe I have invested lots of time and resources which will pay off. Currently, I am compiling the final my research findings to produce an excellent piece of work.

Negative advertising in politics

Victor Kamber (1997) “Poison Politics: Are negative campaigns destroying democracy?” Print.

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During the campaign period, all sorts of activities go on including attacks on opponents, hate speech and throwing shades all over. In this book, the author explains how over the past period the political scene has been made “dirty” and unamicable. The author clearly outlines what happens over the election period and precisely, the campaign period characterized by harsh personal attacks, mostly in television advertisements. These attacks have completely “poisoned” the politics in the United States of America. The outcome of this attacks is that political campaigns have become entirely cynical making voters to subsequently shun politics because the arguments by candidates are often absurd, inappropriate, and reckless.

Negative Campaigning

Richard R. Lau, Gerald M. Pomper (2004) “Negative Campaigning ”

Mr. Kamber cites examples from the past campaigns that were completely out of order. For instance, he has mentioned campaigns where candidates attacked their opponents’ race, gender, and sexual orientation. Instead of airing manifestos, political candidates embark more on attacks on one another which have disgusted the public and consequently made them turn off politics, thus not exercising their democratic rights. Per Mr. Kamber, to impact democracy positively, leaders must change their way of talking because the way people address their issues greatly relies on the power of the mind. Otherwise, the media can also stop putting the advertisements on air so as not to poison the public.

Negative political ads

Shanto Iyengar , Stephen Ansonehere ;Going Negative; Print

This book has been a useful resource for my research since it outlines what goes on during campaigns that compromise the public view of politics. Moreover, the book highlights measures media should put in place to ensure stability in the political arena. However, some of the evidence used in the book is questionable because he has not given enough elaboration and the evidence lacks a disciplined scope.

Mr. Kamber is a veteran Democratic campaign consultant who provides valuable insight in his book about the evils in the electoral process. He is an adjunct professor of Public communication and has been associated with American University since1966.

News That Matters

Shanto Iyengar, Donald R. Kinder (15 October 2010) “News That Matters.” Print.

The media can change our opinions without changing our attitudes at all, through framing, priming, and agenda setting. Therefore, political campaigns don’t change our minds; they make us think about considerations that will lead us to support one candidate over another instead, per “News That Matters.” Authors of this book use experiments during writing to gather information about public view of the media.

Negative political advertisements

David Mark (2009) “Get Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning” Print

The Author of this book edits information from newsgroups into two categories namely: the vivid story which relates to specific groups of people and pallid stories which approach an issue from a less personal side. From the experiment, authors of this book conclude that viewers of television concentrated more on personal news than the news regarded as less personal and consider the personal news as the “great news of the day.” Clearly, this experiment demonstrated the power of the media in public opinion. Also, the population that is more likely to succumb to this scenario is the less educated people who lack media literacy and thus are prone to make misinformed choices.

Media Literacy

W. James Potter (2013) “Media Literacy” Print

The book was of great value to my research because it portrays how media illiteracy affects public opinion and democracy at large. The authors worked hard enough to come up with valid experiments although many questions have not been attended to as it is hard to know whether the conclusions were generalizable from the tests they carried out.

Shanto Iyengar is a professor of Political Science at Stanford University where he is also the Director of the Political Communication. His areas of specialization include mass media, public opinion, and political psychology. On the other hand, Donald R., Kinder is a professor in the department of Political Science and research professor in the centre for political studies at the University of Michigan.

Competitive Elections and the American Voter

Keena Lipsitz (2011) “Competitive Elections and the American Voter.”  Print.

In this book, Lipsitz comes with a rare view of the American campaigns where she implies that competitive elections are supposed to be healthy. However, due to stiff competition, some politicians engage in negative campaigns which involve personal attacks. Therefore, rather than focusing on the negative side of the campaigns, citizens should think of ways to make the electoral process better. Furthermore, the book also investigates how negative advertisements affect the electorate. Among the outcomes of negative ads by the media include hindering voters from making the right choices of leaders. Thus, they fail to exercise their democratic right.

Campaign Advertising and American Democracy

Michael M. Franz “Campaign advertising and American Democracy” Print

This book was of great assistance in my research because it offers a compelling observation on politics of the United States of America. Furthermore, the book outlines the correlation between voter knowledge and citizen involvement in the electoral process. Thus, to ensure full turnout in the election, voters must be abundantly and positively informed to make them freely take part in the elections.

To get the best results, we must all avoid negative factors that may hinder us from achieving our goals because what we think about most of the time is what becomes of us. The book, which is a result of well researched political analysis and campaign information offers priceless counsel to all citizens and all the parties concerned to embrace change and reorganize the political system so that every individual gets a chance to exercise their right to democracy.


Victor Kamber (1997) “Poison Politics: Are negative campaigns destroying democracy?”  New York, N.Y Basic Books

Keena Lipsitz (2011) “Competitive Elections and the American Voter.”  University of Pennysylvania Press 13 Feb 17

Shanto Iyengar, Donald R. Kinder (15 October 2010) “News That Matters.” University of

Chicago Press 13 Feb 17

David Mark (2009) “Get Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning” Rowman & Littlefied Publishers.

Michael M. Franz “Campaign advertising and American Democracy” Temple University Press 13 Feb 17

Shanto Iyengar, Stephen Ansolabehere (2010) “Going Negative” Simon and Schuster 13 Feb 17

W. James Potter (2013) “Media Literacy” Sage Publications 13 Feb 17

Richard R. Lau, Gerald M. Pomper (2004) “Negative Campaigning” Rowman and Littlefield 13 Feb 17