Political Ads in 2018: Civility v. Negativity in CA’s 77th Assembly Race

San Diego, Calif.- According to a recent NPR poll, nearly 80 percent of voters are concerned that the negative tone and lack of civility in Washington will lead to violence or acts of terror.

That toxic tone has become commonplace in contentious races for many years. But there are representatives, and candidates, who have stuck to a more civil approach to politics.

Videos for two candidates in California’s 77th Assembly district in San Diego demonstrate the two different approaches.

Assemblymember Brian Maeinschein is well-known as a moderate Republican, who has been recognized for working with both sides of the aisle to pass effective legislation. For years, the Assemblyman has embraced a more nonpartisan approach to politics, which could be a reason he draws significant support from voters outside of his party and even gets high scores from some progressive issue-advocates. He is also an adjunct professor of election law at the University of San Diego.

This year, Democrats in California see an opportunity to defeat Republicans like Maienschein in what would normally be considered a “safe” district for a popular incumbent Republican.

Enter Sunday Gover, a cancer survivor, mother, and real estate professional who is the Democrat Party’s candidate. She’s focusing her campaign on issues that resonate with more progressive voters, like affordable health care, universal preschool, paid family leave, and has also taken some more moderate positions like easing the tax burden on middle-class families.

Gover, however, has also taken on an issue that could be her biggest barrier to victory: Brian Maienshein’s likeability. To do so, Gover goes hard, and negative, on the Assemblymember by questioning Maienschein’s ethics for doing something that is quite common: accepting the compensation he gets as an elected official.

As of today, the Assemblymember’s video advertisements have remained focused on his own credentials.

Watch both ads in the video below: