Poll: Negative ads influencing race between Faso, Delgado

Poll: Negative ads influencing race between Faso, Delgado

October 31, 2018 06:03 PM

There are six days and counting till voters head to the polls in the midterm elections -- and the gloves are off in the race for New York's 19th Congressional District.

The battle between Republican incumbent John Faso and Democrat Antonio Delgado has filled the airwaves with negative ads for weeks now. But can so-called smear ads make the difference in a race with no clear front runner?

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Each side has taken shots at the other -- spending gobs of money to talk more about what's wrong the other guy instead of what's right about their guy.

In our poll, we asked about the effectiveness of campaign ads. Specifically, did they change your view of a candidate? Nineteen percent said yes, an ad changed my mind.

Of those people, 64 percent said the ads made them think more negatively about a candidate.

Mark Behan of Behan Communications says people respond differently -- more strongly -- to negative messages. He says you're more likely to remember them than positive, issues-based ads. He also thinks more people were swayed by advertising than the poll suggests.

"Most people deny that they are influenced by negative advertising. I don't believe that's the case for the same reasons that we love cable television and radio talk shows and all the gossip. Negativity sticks in our brains. It gets in and it sticks longer," he said.

Behan also said that at this point, negative ads are being used to appeal to each candidate's base to get them passionate about getting out to vote on Election Day. He expects the negativity will keep ramping up right to the bitter end.


WNYT Staff

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