Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The political ads are everywhere as election day approaches.  Ever wonder why the ads are the way they are?  One political scientist says the advertisers are giving the audience what they want.

Dr. Stephen Voss, a professor at the University of Kentucky, says, “If the audience had a taste for reasonable, fact-based, productive discourse then that’s what would sell or get attention and that’s what would thrive even with these new outlets (social media).  In fact, broadcast TV stations and mainstream newspapers were forcing the audience to consume more grown up content than they really wanted.  Now that people can have their demands filled more precisely by seeking out internet sites and social media feeds that pander to their tastes what we’re seeing is a quick shift toward the low brow, knee jerk and irresponsible.”

If you’ve talked to others about the candidates, how much of it has been based on issues and how much has been based on the personalities of the candidates?  Have you done anything to turn to the conversation toward issues or have you help the sensational conversation continue?