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Negative Campaigning: Effective Today, Damaging Tomorrow?

April 23, 2008 07:15 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The New York Times was one voice among many bewailing the Democratic nominees' aggressive new tactics as counterproductive in the long run.

30-Second Summary

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New York Senator Hillary Clinton secured an anticipated win in the Pennsylvania primary, suggesting that negative campaigning can be an effective tool for garnering votes.

During the last seven weeks of the campaign, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has taken several hits, first because of his relationship to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and second because of his description of blue-collar Pennsylvania voters as “bitter.”

Clinton attacked Obama on both counts, prompting her rival to shift his campaign strategy and embrace the negative campaigning he has denounced throughout the rest of the race.

Although both candidates were viewed as “unfairly attacking” one another, ABC News reports that Clinton suffered less than Obama for her negative campaign strategy in Pennsylvania. 

As the race continues, many Democrats fear that continued negativity on the campaign trail will do irreparable damage to both campaigns. The New York Times opinions page denounced the consequences of negative tactics, stating that it is “demeaning the political process; and it does not work.”

Headline Link: ‘Exit Polls: Negative Tone Tarnishes Dems’

Background: Clinton attacks, Obama fights back

Opinion and Analysis: Is negative campaigning necessary?

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