Vote 2022: Do campaign ads, yard signs and direct mail postcards sway voters?

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022
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Politicians are spending big bucks on advertising to grab voters, but is it working?

We're two weeks away from the November General Election, but voters don't need anyone to remind them that election day is around the corner.

The countless campaign ads are doing the trick. You can't miss the yard signs, the postcards in your mailbox, or the text messages to your phone. Does it sway voters? Eyewitness News Stopped by an early voting site at Chavis Park Tuesday evening and found out the impact.

"Sometimes it does," said Velda Bell as she was preparing to vote. " I received something on my door the other day, that kind of crystallized my thinking about what's happening with gentrification in Raleigh and my neighborhood, and how one campaign ad really put it, you know, very clearly for us," Bell explained.

Campaigns are spending big bucks on television ads and radio spots to grab voters. It's working in some cases. "I don't get a chance to talk with any of the candidates. So the only information I'm going to be able to get will be from the information that's put out for the public that I can read or hear," explained Michael Potter.

After months of the war on words from political groups, some voters are changing the channel on campaign ads. "At some point, I do know when to turn it off," continued Potter.

Other voters, like Lori Taylor, found other ways to connect with candidates. "I do my research. I learned about the candidates. I talk with my like-minded friends. And that is where I vote, the ads do nothing for me," Taylor said.

Voter Nessy Green agreed. " I did read about who had agendas that match my morals, match my integrity, and that's how I had to make my decision. I can't make my decisions based on a 32nd ad or a postcard."

Political Science Professor David McLennan from Meredith College said political ads are most effective on down ballots races. "The very high profile races, most people vote party, but down the ballot, when people don't know the candidates and all these ads can make a difference. The candidates are counting on just a little bit of name recognition."

He said name recognition could give certain candidates what they need in the polls. "There are so many close races here in the area and North Carolina. A handful of fliers or TV ads can make a big difference in terms of who wins.

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