Arizonans are preparing for a flood of political publicity in the run-up to the November 2024 elections. Audiences have already expressed their dissatisfaction with the tone of the campaign ads, with some even going so far as to alter their media consumption habits. As we spoke to voters in Old Town, they expressed a desire for the campaigns to shift their rhetoric. Maddie, one of the voters we interviewed, argued that political perspectives should concentrate on policy changes and qualifications, rather than negative ads.
Samara Klar, an associate professor at the University of Arizona, echoed this sentiment. She noted that some days she doesn't even want to turn on her car radio due to the overwhelming presence of negative political ads. Klar also pointed out that some prominent Democrats have taken a more moderate approach in an attempt to sway independent and Republican voters. Her research with colleagues has revealed that people from both sides of the political spectrum are expressing warmer attitudes towards their neighbors in the opposite party.
However, Klar believes that this trend will be reversed due to the prevalence of negative ads, which will push people away from the political process and create a self-perpetuating cycle of more extreme candidates. The regulations governing radio and television stations' broadcast of political content were also discussed. José, who previously worked in Omaha, Nebraska, noted that Arizona's move to the right over the past four years will cause both campaigns to decide that it's better to spend their money elsewhere. In conclusion, it is evident that campaign ads and commercials play a major role in political campaigns in Southern Arizona.
While they can be used to influence voters, they can also be damaging if they are too negative or do not focus on policy changes and qualifications. It is essential for campaigns to take this into account when crafting their messages.