Negative political ads fill airwaves

By Tarik Minor, Anchor-reporter, tminor@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 02 2014 05:02:49 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 02 2014 08:27:01 PM EDT

New Poll numbers suggest that Charlie Crist and Rick Scott are in a very tight race for Florida's Governor with more than 20 percent of Florida voters. With the race heating up and voters undecided, negative ads like these on TV, political strategists say they're only going to become worse.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

As if Florida's governor's race wasn't negative enough before last week's primary, the latest round of political commercials aren't supporting Rick Scott or Charlie Crist, but attacking their opponents.

New poll numbers suggest Crist and Scott are in a tight race for governor, with more than 20 percent of Florida voters still undecided.

Political strategists predict an ugly and expensive showdown between Republican and Democratic candidates in November, and opinions vary on whether or not these ads will sway undecided voters.

Negative campaign commercials like these are expected to fill the airways from mid-September until the General Election.

SCOTT COMMERCIAL:

  “Swindler Scott Rothstein bought 
         expensive things; he even bought      
a Florida governor."

CRIST COMMERCIAL:

    "Every job he’s ever had Rick Scott has dodged   
the truth; committing Medicaid fraud.
He pled the fifth 75 times."


University of North Florida political science professor Matthew Corrigan says negativity is the easiest way for candidates to win votes.

"Most of the strategists have come to the conclusion that most Floridians won’t love these candidates, so the easiest thing to do is tear down the other side," Corrigan said.

Corrigan said the Scott campaign was aggressive on the air over the summer and they saw gains in the polls as the result. But Corrigan said the real factor in the race for governor will be getting voters to the polls.

”The key is turnout," Corrigan said. "Who will come out to vote? And not on just Election Day, but the two weeks of early voting and absentee."

News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said Florida's gubernatorial race could impact the 2016 presidential election.

"This state was turned a bit blue in the last presidential election, so this is a battleground state still for the '16 presidential election," Carroll said. "So who goes to the governor’s mansion really goes to the 2016 presidential race, so this is a battleground state attracting national attention."

Political experts point out that neither candidate is anywhere close to running out of money. So even though this negative campaign ads may be annoying to some, research shows that they do work.

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