Expert: negative campaign politics are more effective - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Expert: negative campaign politics are more effective

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In the Iowa gubernatorial race, some feel Democrat Jack Hatch has an uphill battle ahead of him.

"The plan for [State] Senator Hatch is still to get the name out," KWWL Political Analyst Chris Larimer said. "At this point, part of getting the name out is attacking the current administration. You're trying to create a narrative that's easy for voters to remember and voters tend to remember things that are negative."

Larimer said political campaigns are all about spinning the story of the candidate, so the dozens of press releases Hatch's campaign sends criticizing the governor are no surprise.

It's a practice that reaches across the aisle.

"I think that you do see that at election time because, partly, when one office holder is very, very strong compared to the competitor," Sen. Chuck Grassley, (D) Iowa, said. "And what you have to do as a competitor to get elected is tear your opponent down."

Grassley said he doesn't see negative political techniques used as frequently in Iowa, but that it does happen.

"You don't stand a ghost of a chance unless you tear down," Grassley said. "Now, that's a sad commentary, but that is sometimes used. I haven't seen it used very often in Iowa."

But Larimer said there is the risk of going too far.

"The blowback is if you continue to run negative ads and talk about nothing that you're going to do, that's not reassuring for voters particularly voters that are unsure about you," Larimer said.

He said it a moot point for now though, citing studies show attack ads are really only effective 7-10 days before voters head to the polls.

When reached for comment, Gov. Branstad's campaign released a statement.

"It should come as no surprise that liberal politician Jack Hatch would resort to these D.C.-style partisan attacks," they wrote. "

Sen. Hatch's campaign office has not responded to our request for comment yet, but we'll update this story with any new information we receive.

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