The Coleman-Wellstone race is heating

The Coleman-Wellstone race is heating up. Coleman has been under intense pressure to be more aggressive and has hired a new ad agency. I assume this is the result. The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s account is naturally favorable to Wellstone; I haven’t seen the ads and can’t comment on their likely effect. The basic question is, if the campaign stays aggressive and both candidates’ negative perceptions are driven up, who benefits? Notwithstanding the advice that he has gotten from nearly every quarter, I’m not sure the answer is Coleman. Wellstone’s negatives are already high, and political ads aren’t likely to dent his solid base of support. Mud thrown at Coleman, on the other hand, may dissuade swing voters who are prepared to vote for someone else–especially after Wellstone broke his two-term pledge–but may conclude Coleman isn’t the man.

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