SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – On Tuesday, the campaigns for Congresswoman Mia Love and Mayor Ben McAdams released television ads going after one another in the 4th Congressional race. Experts say Utahns have shown to especially dislike negative ads but note they often work.
The latest ad from the Love campaign uses the voice of a President Bill Clinton impersonator to thank Ben McAdams for his help over the years. The ad goes on to show McAdams has worked for the Clintons on several occasions.
Love Campaign Manager Dave Hansen said the ad is meant to be funny but doesn’t see it as negative.
“Ben McAdams is not going to tell you that he was closely tied to the Clintons,” said Hansen. “We want you to understand that’s where he got his training.”
The McAdams campaign was not amused and noted that the candidate was never paid by the Clintons and was only a volunteer.
“This is exactly what a Washington D.C. politician does when they’re embroiled in an ethics scandal,” said Campaign Manager Andrew Roberts.
The ad they released the same day goes after Mia Love for donations she collected for a primary that never happened. It is an issue the Federal Elections Commission is investigating.
“The FEC’s letter did not have a question mark in it,” said Roberts. “It notified her plain and simple that these donations were raised in violation of federal law.”
Love’s Campaign denies those charges noting the FEC hasn’t ruled on anything.
“Absolutely false, they used in the ad the term illegal,” said Hansen. “There was nothing illegal about the money that was raised, it was raised according to the FEC rules.”
These ads are just another sign that both sides are fighting hard in a race that’s expected to be close.
Jason Perry is the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics and he notes ads like these can work but do tend to turn off voters.
“The reality is Utahns don’t like negative ads, but the unfortunate truth of it is they also do have an impact,” said Perry.
As far as the ads being truthful or getting the context correct, Perry said they don’t have to be, and that’s not usually the point.
“That’s not really the goal of these ads is to get those facts exactly right,” said Utahns The goal is to try and create a little bit of doubt in the minds of the voters.”
With ballots going out by October 15th, many of these ads have been coming out earlier to get the voters attention.