How to Decipher Political Ads - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

How to Decipher Political Ads

October 25 -- Posted at 7:01 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- This time of year we are bombarded with political ads, but which ones are true and which ones are lies?

But, how do the ads we see on television impact the way we cast our votes at the polls?

To better understand what it is about ads that drives a voter to the polls I asked political scientist Dr. Patrick Stewart to take a look at some political ads, like one featuring kids from Asa Hutchinson.

"It's brilliant.  It's a brilliant advertisement, but like most brilliant advertisements, what it's trying to do is get the supporting group to give more support, mobilize those who aren't voting, and de-mobilize those who are voting," said Stewart.

At KAIT, we've received many phone calls from angry viewers, angry at the use of children in the ad.

"When you're using children to attack... we're moving into dangerous territory here," said Stewart.

But Stewart says while the ad is a negative one, it's not a brutal ad.

"The laughter at the end is that finishing touch.  It's wonderful.  It's like saying, "We're just kidding... don't take us too seriously,".

The ad from Hutchinson is one of the first negative ads we've seen so far in the gubernatorial campaign.  So far, all other ads have been about past political experience," said Stewart.

"Beebe's ads seemed to be focused on very much solidifying his base showing that he's a good guy.  It is a typical front runner advertisement.  He won't attack the other side.  You don't mud-sling when you're a front runner," said Stewart.

Do these ads cause us to change the way we vote?  Stewart said it depends on if the ad is negative or positive.

"With the Hutchinson ads, he's done a very good job of tuning us to a threat, which is Mike Beebe, according to him," said Stewart.

With two weeks left, the Hutchinson ad not be the only negative ad that pops up.

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