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However, I can’t help myself—I must make an observation because it’s something voters and often consultants do not understand.
Negative campaigns are (or should not be) designed to persuade a voter to vote for or against a candidate. By their very nature, they are designed to make voters stay home. They stay home for two reasons: their guy or gal got bashed and it raised questions about which they didn’t feel comfortable.
In other words, they become confused—and confused voters don’t vote.
Alternatively, voters become fed up with the negativity and basically say, “a pox on both your houses,” and don’t vote.
Therefore, Francis’ campaign strategy was counterintuitive—especially because he was attempting to create a base group of voters. Instead, he drove them away from himself (and not to another candidate). They simply didn’t vote.
Given the above, whoever agreed with Francis or approved of the constant attacks was either unaware or worse, didn’t care, and ought never to advise candidates again.