With the November
election hard upon us (or coming fast), we are sharing two
significant polls with you. One from Gallup and the other
The Gallup Poll issued the results of its July 7, 2000 poll
on negative campaigning. It shows that the American public
has very strong feelings about negative campaigning. Deborah
Brooks, a researcher for Gallup wrote, "The American
public has little tolerance for negative ads, or for political
ads in general. Not only does the public say they dislike
seeing such ads, but they largely reject the argument that
the information conveyed can be valuable for voters."
Among the results of many questions, the poll finds the
- More than seven in ten Americans feel that bringing
up an opponent's extramarital relationships or use of illegal
drugs before the person held office are examples of negative
- The public, however, is fairly evenly divided in
terms of whether they think that mentioning an opponent's
ties to special interest groups constitutes negative campaigning,
with 42% saying that it does and 54% saying that it does
- At the other end of the spectrum, only one out of
five Americans consider bringing up an opponent's stands
on issues like education or military spending to be negative.
- Four-fifths of the public feel that the common tactic
of criticizing an opponent for running negative advertisements
is itself an example of negative campaigning.
For the complete results of this Gallup Poll, point your
browser to <http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr000717.asp>.
Another poll of interest is one from Yahoo on July 20 titled,
"As Presidential Election Heats Up, Web Emerges as
Important Research Tool." This poll is at <http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000726/ca_yahoo.html>.
There are many important statistics, but one of our favorites
says that that nearly 65% of Americans will use the Internet
to help them make their voting decisions in the hotly-contested
race. It seems reasonable that close to 65% will also make
use of the information online for deciding on candidates
for state and local offices. That is where Smart Voter can
make a difference.
With its unique and easy to use ballot lookup with quick
response time, Smart Voter provides in-depth material on
local and state candidates as well as the League's impartial
pros and cons on the state ballot measures. <www.smartvoter.org>
is the only address you need to know.