Are Augustans listening to all the negative campaign ads?

By: Lynnsey Gardner
By: Lynnsey Gardner

November 6, 2006

After this election, there's one thing we will not miss: the negative campaign ads.

It's a billion dollar industry...but is it really working?

News 12 is On Your Side with a look at what you think.

Campaign ads are everywhere.

We see them on TV, hear them on the radio, and pass them while driving. Nearly one million campaign ads have run since August, and most of those are negative ads.

But how much are we paying attention to them?

We just can't seem to escape political campaign ads, and in this election, Republicans and Democrats have spent over $2 billion.

It hasn't been pretty...and it seems everybody has an opinion on them.

"Untruths, a lot of false promises, mudslinging...you know, a typical Georgia election," said voter Steve Ritter.

But are you paying attention?

We asked voters about lines in ads that have been repeated thousands of times.

"Who's the big guy?" we asked.

"Um...Perdue," said Charles West.

"The big guy...the big guy is Bill Williams, ain't it?" said John Watson.

"That's not Mark Taylor," said Delphine Bentley.

Actually, it is Mark Taylor.

"Who has a to-do list?" we asked.

"A to-do list...oh good lord...would that be Max Burns?" John responded.

"I have no idea," Charles said.

"Sonny (Perdue) has the to-do list," Lori Richardson answered correctly.

And then there's the Max Burns/John Barrow race. Combined, they've spent close to $3 million on ads in a race that's gained national attention, including a presidential visit.

"Who has the Max Tax?" we asked.

"I don't know," Delphine said.

"Um...I was just going to vote Republican, so I might not know who's running," said Katie Moore.

"That be Max Burns," said Charles.

And as for his opponent...

"Who is 'too liberal'?" we asked.

"Too liberal...whew...I don't know that one," said John.

"I don't know," Katie said.

"That's the one that tells the lies...that the face is all full," Delphine said.

She was talking about the ad that ran awhile ago where you saw the outline of John Barrow's face, and it would slowly get colored in and tell you to stay tuned for the whole picture. That ad was of course financed by the Max Burns campaign.

The Burns/Barrow campaigns have almost tied the Jim Marshall and Mac Collins campaigns in spending. The Marshall/Collins race is the other hotly contested Georgia race; the president went to Macon to stump for Collins.

Those campaigns have spent a combined total of close to $5 million on television ads, and according to Bloomberg.com, $1 million of that came all the way from a California special interest group.

We'll see if it all pays off tomorrow.


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