Pundits and commentators are forecasting that this fall's general election will see an avalanche of negative advertising. But as voters gird for the onslaught, political scientists are asking a different question: Will it matter?
When the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on private advertising in elections, superPACs supporting President Obama and the most likely Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, promised to unleash negative attacks on the other side.
But earlier in the contest, the loudest voice promoting the former Pennsylvania senator wasn't the candidate himself. It was Foster Friess, a multimillionaire who was the main funder of a pro-Santorum superPAC.