Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Josh Micah Marshall weights in on negative attacks

gurufrisbee and I have been going back and forth in the comments about whether any news is good news. I believe that negative news is just that. It is negative and bad for a candidate. gurufrisbee believes that "any news is good news, because most of the voters are still not very intelligent or well informed. The name they keep seeing is the one they want to vote for."

Josh Micah Marshall over at TalkingPointsMemo has this to say about negative campaigning.
But the one thing that rings true to me is this: The Clinton campaign got rough and nasty over the last week-plus. And they got results. That may disgust you or it may inspire you with confidence in Hillary's abilities as a fighter. But wherever you come down on that question is secondary to the fact that that's how campaign's work. Opponents get nasty.
It is pretty obvious from the polls that HRC blunted Obama's momentum when she turned negative, even though Obama drastically outspent her on TV media in both Texas and Ohio. Like Josh said, negative campaigning works. It drives down your opponent. With the 7 weeks we have from now until the Pennsylvania primary, both sides are going to go at each other. And that's fine. That's how it works because it clearly pays off. But notice the consequences.

But instead of having a nominee that is inspirational or experienced, voters will hear that Obama is just an empty windbag and that Hillary is really not that experienced with something to hide. Voters may not be parsing statements or delving into policy papers, but they are paying attention. They will get the gist of the argument: both Democratic candidates are bad. This is bad for the party and bad for winning the White House in November.

But don't think it will let up, the Clinton's campaign is promising more negativity, although they call it "vetting" and "contrasting". And the Obama campaign is going to fire back because it clearly works.

The only one who will be the winner? John McCain who simply has to agree with the negative statements fired by each camp without stooping to the level of firing them himself. I get more and more worried about a Democratic victory in November every day.