How Effective are Negative Campaign Ads?

By Vanderbilt University, Special for  USDR

John Geer, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, can comment on the effectiveness of political television advertisements, political polls and all aspects of the 2016 presidential election. He is a widely quoted expert on negative campaign advertising and the author of In Defense of Negativity: Attacks Ads in Presidential Campaigns. Geer co-chairs Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and the Vanderbilt Poll, which provides a non-partisan and scientifically based reading of public opinion within the state of Tennessee and Nashville. He is currently working on a series of projects that looks at the news media’s coverage of attack advertising and how negativity may help voters make better  choices.

Geer defines negativity as any criticism leveled by one candidate against another during a campaign and shows empirically that the frequency of attack in presidential ads by both Democrats and Republicans has been on the rise the last 40 years. They have been part of presidential campaigns since 1952. The difference during the 1980s and later was that the media became much more interested in reporting about campaign strategies, including running negative  ads.

Negative political ad expert John Geer on Attack Ads and Media/Campaign Spending

Geer has provided extensive commentary in the news media on politics, including live national interviews for FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, ABC, and NPR. Geer has written op-ed pieces for Politico,The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and theChicago  Tribune.

Vanderbilt has a 24/7 HD TV and radio studio. Use of the studio with Vanderbilt experts is free, other than reserving fiber  time.

SOURCE Vanderbilt  University

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