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Solving Voter Apathy 2004

Negative Advertising

Lack of Information About the Candidates
Length of Campaign Platforms
Inconvenience of Voting
Negative Advertising
Political Cartoons
George Bush's Website
John Kerry's Website
Ralph Nader's Website
Vanishing Voter Project

The media has a big influence on voters. In fact, in 2000 during the elections, for every one minute a candidate spoke, a reporter spoke six minutes. Negative campaign advertisements can also affect voters, because mud slinging is very common in political commercials.

Just the Facts:
  • In 2000, 63% of bushes coverage was negative, and 37% was positive
  • In the Nixon and Kennedy campaigns, 25% of coverage was negative, and 75% was positive
  • In the 1980's, over half of news regarding the political campaigns was negative
  • No major presidential candidate since the 1980's has had more positive than negative news coverage
  • Barry Goldwater was the only major candidate who had more negative than positive coverage between 1936 and 1968


Why Things Changed

  • Vietnam and Watergate influenced the relationship between the press and politicians, and made the politicians realize that the press weren't necessarily their friends
  • Now television advertisements are more popular, and it is easier to use the mud slinging technique to influence voters than it is to tell why you are a good candidate
  • Journalists now have to analyze facts, and judge what they think would make good news. They might think that someone making fun of, or humiliating a candidate would be more watched or more popular news than a candidate saying why he should be president.


Helpful Tip of the Week:
Get into political discussions with friends, and play devil's advocate. This will get them to want to vote, so there voice will be heard. This will also help them, and you, see both sides of the argument.

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Site by Meag and Katrina
Last updated: October 26, 2004
Thomas E. Patterson articles