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Negative political advertising is the process by which candidates, parties, and groups promote themselves and their viewpoints by attacking the opposition in a paid space or time medium. Unlike positive political advertising messages, which give potential voters reasons to vote for a candidate or an issue, a negative ad provides information on why potential voters should not vote for the opposing candidate or issue position. Although political advertising, including the attack, has existed for hundreds of years, at every level—from presidential campaigns to local state house races, from gubernatorial campaign to race for a city council seat—negativity is increasing in both its frequency of use and in its power as a persuasive force in the early years of the 21st century.

Evolution of Negative Advertising ...
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