The 2016 Presidential Race is expected to be the most negative and dirtiest campaign in modern U.S. history. From Mitt Romney’s speech stating that Trump’s “promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University” to Clinton calling Sanders a hypocrite, and the comments about “small hands” between Rubio and Trump, this debate is seeming like more like reality TV than a Presidential Race between well-qualified candidates. The 2016 primary race has been dominated by personal attacks and unprecedented drama. Why?
In short, negative campaigning continues to escalate each elections season because it works. The dirty, mud-slinging, ugly reality of negative campaigning is that it sells and catches the attention of the general public. Campaign staffs have had the inside scoop on the general public since elections began: we are less interested in positive information about our favorite candidate than gossip and negative ads about every other candidate. Negative ads thrive in American elections.
Both frontrunners, Clinton and Trump, lack an absolute majority, they have the most votes, but it remains at less than 50%. With two frontrunners with high unfavorable ratings both sides will do everything in their power to make sure their negative ratings are less than their opponents.
By the time of their inauguration, the next President of the United States will have beaten their opponents by running a dirty, negative campaign. When the 2016 election is finished the next president may be viewed negatively by over half of the American population. And no one is to blame but the American public for demanding such campaigning.