Lehigh Valley

Is it too early for political attack ads?

EASTON, Pa. - It may be summertime, but that's not keeping political attack ads off the airwaves.

"People don't usually start paying attention to the election until several weeks before the election. They're not really paying much attention to it now, it's just summer vacation time," said Professor John Kincaid from Lafayette College's Government and Law Department.

He said he's not surprised to see the ads already and added it's not earlier than usual.

"Elections cycles have gotten longer in recent years. Because of the richness and diversity of the media, it's harder for candidates to break through to the public so they're starting earlier," said Kincaid.

Pennsylvania's Republican Governor Tom Corbett is airing ads now.

"I think right now he's trying to demonstrate to voters he's a much better guy than they think he is," said Kincaid.

Democratic challenger Tom Wolf's campaign said it has not run ads since the primaries.

"It could be he doesn't have the money yet, I'm not quite sure what the explanation is," said Kincaid. "Maybe he wants to come on a little stronger closer to the election and hope that Corbett will burn out by that time, which is a possibility."

However, PA Families First, which is a coalition of the Democratic Governors Association and labor unions, is running an attack ad against Corbett.

A Franklin and Marshall College poll from June shows Tom Wolf leading Corbett 47 to 25 percent. It also said 26 percent of voters believes Corbett deserves to be re-elected.

"There could be a lot of money pouring into the Pennsylvania race and so presumably there will be enough money for him to run a lot of ads and so he's getting a very early start," explained Kincaid.

The Franklin and Marshall poll also finds the majority of voters (59%) thinks Pennsylvania is on the wrong track.

Kincaid added, "Keep in mind we have 35 governors races this year and so that also nationalizes the election."

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