Negative Ads Dominate Airwaves In Iowa09:07
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The “Whopps” ad was released by the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC “Restore Our Future.”
The “Whopps” ad was released by the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC “Restore Our Future.”

It's the negative ads that have dominated the state's airwaves, created by the new breed of political action committee called the superPAC.

SuperPACS can raise unlimited donations for individual candidates, as long as the superPACS don't coordinate with the candidates' campaigns.

Nearly half of all political ads in Iowa have attacked Newt Gingrich. Because of ads like it, Gingrich fell 20 points in 20 days last month.

For example, one ad called "Whopps" was released by the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC "Restore Our Future."

Meanwhile, this pro Gingrich ad was released by the group Citizens United promoting the couple's 2009 documentary about Ronald Reagan.

And Perry's Perry SuperPAC "Make Us Great" released this ad, blasting Romney and Gingrich as flip flops.

Most Negative Ad Season Ever

University of Iowa professor David Perlmutter says this is the most negative he's ever seen the ads, so blatantly negative that 10 years ago he would have said they'd never fly in Iowa.

"There was this myth of Iowa nice, that people in general didn't like this kind of mixing it up in Iowa," media analyst John Carroll told Here & Now's Robin Young.

"This basically parallels the change in the media landscape and the change in the culture, the culture is much more coarse, the mood is definitely one of confrontation and that's reflected in this campaign."

Guest:

  • John Carroll, media analyst and assistant professor of advertising and journalism at Boston University's College of Communication. He writes the blog campaignoutsider.com.

This segment aired on January 2, 2012.

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