Viewers respond when debaters go negative

I’ve watched all three debates on CNN, because I’ve enjoyed watching the real time response (RTR) data from a focus group provided by the network. RTR is a research technique that provides a glimpse into the thoughts of people watching television and is used to help “tweak” programs for broad appeal.

In all three debates, the most remarkable thing to me is how the response always goes down when one candidate starts bashing the other. And it doesn’t matter who’s doing the bashing; the outcome is always the same.

So people really don’t like it when candidates use their opponents to raise themselves, and yet, this is the essence of contemporary politics.

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