Just in time for an assessment of election 2004, two distinguished political scientists bring us a sophisticated analysis of negative campaigns for the Senate from 1992 to 2002. The results of their study are surprising and challenge conventional wisdom: negative campaigning has dominated relatively few elections over the past dozen years, there is little evidence that it has had a deleterious effect on our political system, and it is not a particularly effective campaign strategy. These analyses bring novel empirical techniques to the study of basic normative questions of democratic theory and practice.
Richard R. Lau is professor of political science and director of the Walt Whitman Center for the Study of Elections, Campaigns, and Democracy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. He is also a member of the Institute of Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers. Gerald M. Pomper is Board of Governors Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Rutgers University and the Eagleton Institute of Politics in New Brunswick.
Chapter 1 The Problem of Negative Campaigning Chapter 2 The Literature of Negative Campaigning Chapter 3 Who Uses Negative Campaigning? Chapter 4 The Effectiveness of Negative Campaigning Chapter 5 Negative Campaigning in Open-Seat Contests Chapter 6 Effects of Negative Campaigning on the Political System Chapter 7 Normative Thoughts on Negative Campaigning Chapter 8 Appendix A. Description of Studies Included in the Meta-Analysis Chapter 9 Appendix B. Data and Methods