Saying “No” to Negativism (5/24/07) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Saying “No” to Negativism (5/24/07)

For some time, political pundits have insisted that politicians use negative advertising because it works.

Well, in Kentucky's just-completed primaries, no one ran a more negative campaign than Republican gubernatorial candidate Anne Northup - and it didn't work.

Given the facts, she had every chance. Here was an extremely capable woman with a long and impressive record as a U.S. Representative, up against an incumbent severely wounded by scandal. A simple comparison of their relative merits should have caused voters to give her a closer look.

But she didn't give the voters that opportunity. Because instead of touting her own virtues, she based her campaign almost completely upon telling us what was wrong with Ernie Fletcher.

And this was her second consecutive defeat. Last year, she lost her congressional seat to an intelligent but inexperienced political rookie - despite her major advantage of incumbency - by focusing on everything he'd do wrong, while failing to remind voters of all the things she'd done right.

Look - Anne Northup has a lot to offer. But if her defeat means voters have finally said "enough!" when it comes to non-stop negative campaigning, I have to believe that - in the long run - it's a good thing.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.

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