December 11, 2007

Time To Go Negative?

With less than four weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, the presidential campaigns have begun pulling out all stops for the first contest of the primary season. Mitt Romney has gone negative first, stunned by a rapid rise by Mike Huckabee and a potential embarrassing loss in a state where he invested heavily. His switch to the negative underscores the importance of Iowa to his overall strategy, and perhaps reveals a hint of desperation.

As negative attacks go, this is really fairly mild. Candidates should have the ability to compare records and policies without getting accused of unfair personal attacks, and this lands squarely in the former category. However, Iowans don't care much for negative advertising as a rule, and as I explain at Heading Right, being the first to launch them implies a certain back-against-the-wall quality.


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