With Americans generally disgusted by the government and our political system as a whole, the GOP is confident that this apathy will lead to voters on the Left staying home on Tuesday.
“If polling is to be believed,” reported the Guardian, “their party is poised not to just hang on to its majority in the lower chamber, but possibly seize control of the Senate, too, uniting both houses of Congress against a Democratic president for the first time in 20 years.”
But, Republicans might be counting their chickens a little too early, because those same polls suggest “races in the six or so swing states that [they] must win to take control of the Senate are still very much for grabs.”
Turnout for midterm elections, however, is always considerably lower than during presidential elections and with many of the network newscasts almost ignoring the races – “ABC’s primetime newscast went 137 days without mentioning the elections at all” – most people are only exposed to the endless barrage of negative campaign ads. And those do nothing to increase voter confidence in the candidates running.
As the National Journal reported, a study conducted by Wesleyan University found that political advertising over a specific set of dates “was more negative than during the same period in the 2010 and 2012 elections.”
During the weeks analyzed, 55 percent of ads for Senate candidates were negative, and another 17.5 percent were “contrast ads,” or ads that mention both candidates, while highlighting their opponents’ negative attributes.
By going negative and diverting media attention to Ebola and the Islamic State, which have resulted in the combined deaths of less than 10 Americans so far, the GOP gets to avoid the issues that affect most Americans on a daily basis. Keeping the voters uniformed and disgusted is the only way for them to win elections anymore.