In Defense of Negativity Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns

ISBN-10: 0226284999
ISBN-13: 9780226284996
Edition: 2006
Authors: John G. Geer
List price: $31.00 Buy it from $13.44
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Description: Americans tend to see negative campaign ads as just that: negative. Pundits, journalists, voters, and scholars frequently complain that such ads undermine elections and even democratic government itself. But John G. Geer here takes the opposite  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/1/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Americans tend to see negative campaign ads as just that: negative. Pundits, journalists, voters, and scholars frequently complain that such ads undermine elections and even democratic government itself. But John G. Geer here takes the opposite stance, arguing that when political candidates attack each other, raising doubts about each other's views and qualifications, voters--and the democratic process--benefit. "In Defense of Negativity," Geer's study of negative advertising in presidential campaigns from 1960 to 2004, asserts that the proliferating attack ads are far more likely than positive ads to focus on salient political issues, rather than politicians' personal characteristics. Accordingly, the ads enrich the democratic process, providing voters with relevant and substantial information before they head to the polls. An important and timely contribution to American political discourse, "In Defense of Negativity "concludes that if we want campaigns to grapple with relevant issues and address real problems, negative ads just might be the solution.

John G. Geer (Ph.D., Princeton University) is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He has been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University and a research fellow at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University. Geer is the former editor of The Journal of Politics. He has published numerous articles and several books, including IN DEFENSE OF NEGATIVITY, which won the Goldsmith Book prize from Harvard University in 2008. He has provided extensive commentary in the news media on politics, including live nationwide interviews for FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, ABC, PBS, and NPR. Geer has also written op-ed pieces for Politico, The Washington Post, the LA Times, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. He teaches a range of undergraduate classes, including Introduction to American Government. In 2005, he won The College of Arts and Sciences' Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2009, he won Vanderbilt University's Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. In 2014, he won the Vanderbilt Alumni Education Award.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
The Need for Negativity: An Introduction
Assessing Negativity
The Information Environment and Negativity
Evaluating Character Attacks
Evaluating the Content of Negative and Positive Issue Appeals
Dragging the Truth into the Gutter? The News Media, Negativity and the 1988 Campaign
Negativity, Democracy, and the Political System
Appendix
Notes
References
Index

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