Negative ads may be a part of the political process, but they may not gain candidates any friends or votes, new research has found. Almost 80 percent of Americans said they were frustrated by the increasingly negative tone of negative ads and 74 percent said that the problem was worse than in past years.
A majority of Americans have those feelings because they feel negative ads are not helping to solve political problems. Two-thirds of Americans said they felt that candidates spent more time attacking their challenger than addressing political issues,while 64 percent said that negative campaign ads harm the political process significantly or a great deal. A majority of respondents also felt that the problem with negative political ads went further, with 56 percent of the public saying that the tone of political ads is uncivil and disrespectful.
"The American people want and deserve civility and a conversation on the issues rather than the personal vilification of political opponents," said Carl Anderson, of the Knights of Columbus, which sponsored the research. "As this current data makes all too clear, the American people want a political discussion that is civil and respectful. As Americans, we understand that we may not agree on every aspect of every issue, but we also understand that how we disagree says a great deal about who we are as a nation."
The research was conducted by the Marist Poll for the Knights of Columbus. The research was based on the responses of 1,010 adults.