Negative Campaigning

NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING….James Joyner agrees with Dave Weigel that Republicans need to do more than haul out the Hillary Clinton boogey man if they want to win next November:

While negative campaigning and pointing out the weaknesses of one’s opponent can be quite effective, there hasn’t been a presidential election in my lifetime decided on that basis. (Off the top of my head, I can’t think of an example of that happening, period.)

Obviously, when a candidate loses, there are a hundred different reasons for the loss. But I don’t think you have to go back any further than 2004 to see an example of negative campaigning winning an election. Is there any doubt that the Swift Boat ads that ran virtually nonstop in Ohio managed to switch at least a hundred thousand votes and thus swing the state — and the election — to George Bush?

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