5 Most Offensive Campaign Ads Ever Produced

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Senate Write-in Candidates Rarely Win, But It Has Happened

Senate Write-in Candidates Rarely Win, But It Has Happened

Just two write-in candidates have been elected to the Senate. How likely could another write-in candidate's chances be? Find out at HowStuffWorks.

Author's Note: 5 Most Offensive Campaign Ads Ever Produced

As I watched clip after clip of absurd political ads from both parties, I thought of the famous quote from H.L. Mencken: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." Offensive and over-the-top political ads are effective because they play to our basest nature -- our stereotypes, our fears, our distrust of the political "enemy." The only way we can slow the steady decline of our political discourse is to vote for folks who try to take the high road, or at least the higher road than their opponent. Good luck finding them!

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  • Bingham, Amy. ABC News. "Senate Candidate Pete Hoekstra Under Fire for Racially 'Offensive,' 'Atrocious' Super Bowl Ad." February 6, 2012 (June 10, 2012.) http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/senate-candidate-under-fire-for-very-disturbing-super-bowl-ad/
  • Condon, Stephanie. CBS News. "Alabama Gov. Candidate Tim James: 'We Speak English. If You Want to Live Here, Learn It." April 27, 2010 (June 10, 2012.) http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20003524-503544.html
  • Farley, Robert. Politifact. "Alabama's Time James says government report backs up his claim that non-English speaking drivers are a public safety hazard." April 29, 2010 (June 10, 2012.) http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/apr/29/tim-james/alabamas-tim-james-says-government-report-backs-hi/
  • Marinucci, Carla. San Francisco Chronicle. "A new low in political TV spots: attack ad shows CD-36 candidate Janice Hahn as stripper." June 15, 2011 (June 10, 2012.) http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2011/06/15/a-new-low-in-political-tv-spots-attack-ad-shows-cd-36-candidate-janice-hahn-as-stripper-video/
  • Schwartz, David. Museum of the Moving Image. "Revolving Door" (June 10, 2012.) http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1988
  • Sullivan, Amy. TIME. "Why Rick Perry's Ads are Wrong on Religion — And Obama." December 9, 2011 (June 10, 2012.) http://swampland.time.com/2011/12/09/why-rick-perrys-new-ads-are-wrong-on-religion-and-obama/#ixzz1wYWP78aR
  • Yadron, Danny. The Wall Street Journal. "Perry's Key Moment in Debate: a Memory Lapse." November 10, 2011 (June 10, 2012.) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203537304577028940895320320.html

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