Generally when you ask people if they like negative ads, they tend to say no, but when tracking polls and election results, usually it shows that negative campaign ads work.
Here at I Agree to See, we did a in-house Google Survey, where we decided to ask 1,000 self-identified registered voters not what kind of ads they preferred, but which kind of ads they found most accurate – positive or negative campaign ads.
The respondents chose positive (48.5%) over negative (6.2), noting that “don’t know” (45.3) was almost the winner.
This information shows us that although people find positive ads more accurate, there is a huge population skeptical in general about political ads.
There have been attempts in some political campaigns to stay positive – one with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper “taking a shower” anytime he hears a negative ad, or one with Cary Weston making his own attack ad against himself. Generally, it’s hard to get away from negative ads, because they tend to have an impact.