Campaign Advertising Gets Heated

By Jon Hardison | 

Campaign advertising between Kentucky's gubernatorial candidates is heating up with Election Day less than a month away. Democrat Ben Chandler and Republican Ernie Fletcher are accusing each other of negative campaigning.

The most recent flap came Monday, when the Chandler campaign sent a letter to every TV station in Kentucky, asking that they pull an ad entitled "Brags," sponsored by the Republican Governors' Association. WBKO, on the advice of its' corporate attorney, has decided to continue to run the ad.

WKU political science professor Scott Lasley says voters often confuse negative ads with contrasting ads. The main difference between the two is focus. Contrast ads focus on highlighting the differences between candidates; negative ads focus almost exclusively on the opponent.

Lasley believes contrasting ads can be helpful to voters who may be confused about candidates' positions on key issues.

Election research indicates a majority of American voters dislike negative campaign ads, but remember their messages better than any other form of political advertising.