One of the most closely-watched and controversial aspects of modern political campaigning is the use of negative, attack tactics. This book examines the role played by negative campaigning through a national survey of professional political consultants. Campaign consultants have become vitally important to political candidates in recent years as strategists, fundraisers, and media specialists. The research in this book focuses on how consultants define negative campaigning, including the differences between issue attacks and character attacks, how and when criticism of the opponent should be implemented, and which media should be used to deliver attack messages. A statistical analysis of the survey data reveals insights into behavioral and professional differences among consultants with regard to party affiliation, gender, age, and level of experience.
Kerwin C. Swint is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.