Political Adverts

Decent Essays

“An Analysis of the Political Advertising in the 2016 Presidential Primaries” by Colleen O’Donnell, examined the correlation between the political sponsor of advertisements (candidates, PACs, or Super PACs), and the type of political advertisement aired. Political advertisements are categorized into three different groups: positive, negative, and contrast ads. In the “Introduction” section of her paper, O’Donnell provided an argument for the pros and cons of each sponsor using the types of ads, largely the negative ads. For example, O’Donnell contended that, if a direct candidate aired a negative ad, they may experience more backlash. However, she continued to say that negative ads draw in the viewer better than positive ads, increasing the …show more content…

Additionally, there were a few weaknesses within the paper that left significant obscurities. First, although O’Donnell’s introduction was well written and provided support for her hypotheses, it was largely centralized on the effects of negative advertisement, only briefly touching on the other aspects of her research such as the effects of positive and contrast ads. Further, some contradictions were found in the introduction. For example, on page 2, O’Donnell states that PACs legally have to be affiliated with a specific campaign, however O’Donnell negates this on page 4 where she says that “PAC sponsored ads are… not directly associated with the campaign.” This contradiction was detrimental to understanding O’Donnell’s second hypothesis. Second, for people who do not have a background in statistics, O’Donnell’s methodology and results are difficult to follow. Because O’Donnell does not spend much time describing the statistical procedure and resulting data such as test statistics and lambda values, it was difficult for me, as someone who does not have a vast background in the subject, to follow the paper. However, I do know that O’Donnell’s research was largely meant to be read by intellectuals with an avid understanding of statistics. Further, if O’Donnell provided more statistical analysis rather than statistic regurgitation, clarity in her paper may have been

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