Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Public to candidates: Go positive and get specific

As I was watching CNN's coverage of the debate tonight, I was struck by the insta-reaction squiggly lines at the bottom of the screen. What a great use of technology -- viewers turn a dial up or down when they like or dislike the candidates' answers.

One thing stood out: When the candidates turned negative, especially McCain, the dials turned negative. Voters desperately wanted positive messages and specific plans, and they didn't buy the attacks. There were a couple of exceptions when Obama was tying McCain to Bush, which resonated a bit, but I was shocked by how much the viewers just didn't buy McCain's attacks in particular.


Acrobat said...

re methodology, I wonder whether subjects were clearly instructed re dial according to who is winning. So did they dial negative because they merely had negative or fearful feelings. I am sure a vast majority of Americans would say they want less negativity in politics. Nevertheless, the negativity may remain extremely effective.

Yes, good use of technology, but I'd rather it be available after the live broadcast. I'd like the candidates to have a chance to present themselves to me & the rest of America unfiltered, before listening through the lens of public opinion (or the elitist, hippie commie media).

Dan Chong said...

Yeah, I wondered that myself. It could be that the negative attacks work, even though people don't like them at the moment (or if the dial technology is invalid).

Acrobat said...

I've read that flattery can be effective even when the subject knows they are being manipulated by flattery.