In this edition of the News Journal we have given the candidates for the upcoming election an opportunity to tell you why you should vote for them. It is our way of keeping you better informed.
No doubt the best way for a candidate to gain your favor is by knocking on your door and greeting you personally. However, that is not possible in most races and various forms of advertising are used. But do repect those who have made this effort.
Most all advertising is beneficial, but some can do as much damage as good. I have never had a person tell me that they were persuaded to vote for a candidate because of an ad they saw on television. I have heard them say they voted against the candidte because of an ad.
I have done some research and found that almost half of all political ads are completely ignored and those that are watched do not change opinions of most people. As much as we hate them, the research showed that negative ads work to reach the few that are influenced by television.
Then why do candidates spend millions on television advertisng? One reason is to tell their story and let us get to know them better.
Even though those of us in this area will not vote in the representatives race between Barr and McGrath, because we get Lexington television stations we have seen more about them than any other candidates.
They have not let a minute go by without an ad airing. Are the millions they have spent worth it? That is debatable, but it is unlikely that one of them would take a chance of not advertising and let the other get all the attention. Thus, we have the escalation of political advertising spending.
In the research I’ve seen a 1,000-ad advantage could increase a candidates share by about 0.5 percentage points. In a close race that could make the difference. It is crazy, but that is why they are spending millions on television.
Unfortunately the Internet has affected voting. There are tons of false information on it and some people rely on it to make their decision.
When I was young candidates would gather around the voting precincts and hand out fans, cards and other items as if that would influence your vote. It seemed so innocent back then. Of course that is prohibited today.
Locally candidates use yard signs, radio and newspaper advertising to reach the voters, but as I mentioned seeing the voters personally is the best.
I respect all who run for office. I know from experience that it is very stressful and it requires a lot of effort.
It is more important than ever for you to exercise your voting priviledge. See you at the polls next Tuesday.