Survey: Negative Campaign Tone Mobilizes Conservatives, May Help GOP

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Survey: negative campaign tone mobilizes conservatives, may help GOPA new survey has found that Americans are deeply disappointed with the tone of political discourse, especially during this election season. However, this situation may end up boosting the GOP's fortunes this November.

Already in April 2010, nearly half of those polled by the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College believed that the level of civility in political discourse had become worse since Barack Obama was elected president.

Now, an update to this survey shows the number of those who are dissatisfied grew to 58 percent. Moreover, approximately 41 percent of Americans said the tone of this year's campaign is worse than in previous electoral cycles, and 61 percent are worried that this hurts the nation's democracy.

The study also revealed that 48 percent of Republican supporters who are dissatisfied are more likely to get involved, while only 33 percent of the Democratic voters said the same. By contrast, more Democrats than Republicans feel turned off by negative campaigning.

"We're not sure whether Republicans are mobilized across the board no matter what the tone of the campaign, or whether the negative tone may actually be mobilizing [them], but [this situation] may lead to big gains for the GOP," said Daniel M. Shea, the center's director and co-author of the new study.

"This is but another bit of bad news for Democrats," he concluded. 

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