Current election campaign compared to history

Published 08/21 2012 10:15PM

Updated 08/22 2012 01:21PM

SPRINGFIELD -- If you've been anywhere near a newspaper or TV, you've seen how rough this presidential election is getting. Some say it's one of the nastiest races our country has ever seen. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger files this report on behalf of your Local Election Headquarters.

There's a lot of money flowing in this race, and that means a lot of those negative ads. A lot of that money is being spent by super-pacs. These organizations are not tied to campaigns, and they can raise as much money as they want.

It's putting a new spin on an old game. It's ads like this that get a lot of people fired up, including our state's senior senator.

"It's bad. It's bad on both sides. I can certainly make the case of why I think the Republicans have been tougher than the Democrats, but most people say, 'a pox on both their houses. We're sick and tired of negative advertising.'"

Many people have said this year's race for the White House is shaping up to be the ugliest ever. It's thanks in large part to a supreme court decision allowing political action committees to raise unlimited funds to produce commercials like this.

They're not tied to campaigns, but our political expert, Mike Miller, says it isn't new. Just a fresh spin on an old game.

"If you got to talk to people out on the street, they say it's the most negative campaign I've ever seen in my life. This is the country in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson was accused of, you know, children will be writhing on a pike if he's elected."

And, even though we gripe when we hear that ominous music, Miller says we're actually learning more than if we weren't watching negative ads.

"We have found in political science, they're a lot more informative. You learn a lot about these candidates in negative ads. You may not like the tone, but politics isn't a nice game. It's never been nice, and nice guys finish last."

If you still don't like those negative ads, consider yourself a little lucky. We aren't in a swing state, and that means you won't see as many ads.

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