Wed, 15 October 2014
Most general elections are zero-sum affairs. Winning does not depend on a candidate being liked. Winning depends on a candidate being liked more than the opponent. Sometimes that just means being disliked less.
Negative campaigns produce two negatives. Voters dislike the candidate running negative ads. Voters come pretty close to hating the opponent who is the target of negative ads. All things being equal, the candidate voters dislike wins over the candidate voters hate. A lot of voters hold their noses and vote for the nasty guy who ran the ad they didn't like to see.
That can be true of any campaign with two credible candidates. None of the above is not a real option. One of the candidate will win.
In South Dakota, a third choice might just kick over the chessboard.