Politics Magazine

Public Wants Candidates Punished For False Campaign Ads

Posted on the 28 April 2014 by Jobsanger
Public Wants Candidates Punished For False Campaign Ads
Campaigns in this country have always been played by a different set of rules than that followed by most honest and decent people -- and many times in our history, candidates have made silly claims and half-truths to get an edge over their opponents. One famous story tells of a candidate who accused his opponent of being a "thespian". That just means he had done some acting in the theater, and it was true. But the candidate knew most of the voters at that time didn't know what the word meant, and would assume it was something derogatory, and it worked.
But it seems like campaigns have gotten worse these days, and candidates aren't content with just skirting the truth or trying to smear their opponents. Now some don't hesitate to tell bald-faced lies -- counting on the fact that many voters are too ignorant to know they are telling a lie (or will just accept the lie because it is what they want to believe). This is especially true of far-right-wing candidates, who will say anything and make any accusation they think will get them a few more votes.
But most Americans don't like that. Whether they agree with a candidate (or party) or not, they want to be told the truth. And it turns out that a significant majority of voters (about 55%) would like to have some government oversight over the truthfulness of campaign ads -- and they would like to see candidates be punished if they lie in their campaign ads. Only 31% of voters don't like that idea.
This information comes from a recent Rasmussen Poll (taken on April 23rd and 24th of a nationwide sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error of about 3 points).

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