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This blog offers an international look at the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, campaigners worldwide are fascinated with American election campaigns. We observe relentless paid television advertising, straight-forward attack spots, sophisticated targeting and record-breaking fundraising. One cannot – and should not – simply copy paste American campaign techniques. However, campaigners out there in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia can get a lot of inspiration and specific takeaways from the most professional campaign in the world. This is the purpose of this blog.

Negative Campaigning: in Europe Top, in the U.S. Passé

Negative campaigning has long been seen as the very heart of U.S. election campaigns. In recent times, however, it seems that it has lost a lot of its effectiveness. Just look at Hillary Clinton’s campaign that has invested so much into attack ads against Donald Trump. American voters have seen so many negative ads that they have become increasingly cynical and unreceptive to them. Ironically, it’s the exact opposite in Europe. Here, negative campaigning has never been more effective than before. If you look at what has happened recently in France, Britain or Switzerland, careers have crashed and sometimes ended within a couple of weeks. Of course, negative campaigning in Europe is not done through tv ads where one candidate hits another. It’s normally carried out via the media, but no less effective.

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