Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 - History - 277 pages
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Going Dirty is a history of negative campaigning in American politics and an examination of how candidates and political consultants have employed this often-controversial technique. The book includes case studies on notable races throughout the television era in which new negative campaign strategies were introduced, or existing tactics were refined and amplified upon. Strategies have included labeling opponents from non-traditional political backgrounds as dumb or lightweight, an approach that got upended when a veteran actor and rookie candidate named Ronald Reagan won the California governorship in 1966, setting him on a path to the White House. The negative tone of campaigns has also been ratcheted up dramatically since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: Campaign commercials now routinely run pictures of international villains and suggest, sometimes overtly, at other times more subtly, that political opponents are less than resolute in prosecuting the war on terror. The book also outlines a series of races in which negative campaigning has backfired, because the charges were not credible or the candidate on the attack did not understand the political sentiments of the local electorate they were trying to persuade. The effect of newer technologies on negative campaigning is also examined, including blogs and Web video, in addition to tried and true methods like direct mail.
  

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Review: Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning

User Review  - Katrin - Goodreads

I have always hated negative campaigns. This book shed a new light on them--there is a reason for them. It is now very interesting to listen and analyze them. Read full review

Contents

Eye of the Beholder Defining Negative Campaigning
1
What Good Old Days? Notable Developments in Negative Campaigning from the Late Eighteenth Century through the Dawn of the Cold War
17
Going Nuclear 1964 The Rise of Television Attack Ads
39
Dismissive Politics The Governor against the Actor
55
The Truth Shall Rise Again Brock versus Gore for US Senate 1970
73
Confrontation Bluster and No Compromise The Campaigns of Jesse Helms
91
DoleGingrich Going Negative Early and Often
111
The Politics of Fear Negative Campaigning in the Post911 World
127
A DoubleEdged Sword When Negative Campaigning Backfires
165
Hitting the Mark Negative Campaigning Efforts That Just Plain Worked
185
Its in the Mail Negative Campaigning Comes Home
213
Conclusion The Future of Negative Campaigning
231
A Race to the Bottom Negative Campaigning in the 2006 Midterm Elections
243
Selected Bibliography
253
Index
259
About the Author
277

Opening the Floodgates Campaign Finance Reform and the Rise of Negativity
151

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

David Mark is a senior editor for The Politico.

Bibliographic information