Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ted Cruz Under Fire for Controversial Campaign Tactic

Ted Cruz is under fire for his use of a controversial campaign tactic. The ad that is pictured above, was paid for by the Cruz campaign and sent out to citizens in Iowa just a couple days before the first Caucus. As you can see, at the top in big bold letter it states "Voting Violation." The print below it states" You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors' are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. Caucus on Monday to improve your score and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday's caucuses."

The tactic has been criticized by a number of people, including Iowa state officials and his other opponents in the election. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate denounced this move and said it went against the spirit of the the election. Marco Rubio called it a strange move to bash on citizens so close to a caucus while Donald Trump tweeted against the move, stating The Cruz campaign issued a dishonest and deceptive get out the vote ad.

Ted Cruz responded quickly to the critique, stating that he will never apologize for trying to use every tool possible to encourage higher voter turnout . To me, I agree with Marco Rubio's sentiments that this seems like a strange tool to use so close before the first Caucus is scheduled. If I were to receive repeated notices by a politician highliting my poor voting history, it wouldn't make me really want to vote for them. Which makes this ironic, because there might be a higher voter turnout like Cruz wanted, but the response might be negative to Cruz because of this.

What are your thoughts? Is this a good 'get out to vote' tactic and would it influence your voting decisions at all?


Meghan Hilbert said...

Charles, I do agree that this is a weird, unwelcoming way to promote GOTV. It is too personal and almost creepy that he is putting real people's names with a grade next to them. It doesn't promote positive propaganda like Uncle Sam's "America needs you!". It's more like a, "well, you've been a crappy citizen, so maybe voting will help you". If I were to receive this, I would be turned off to vote for him. It's too aggressive, so I really think this will hurt him. However, according to multiple media stations, Ted won the Iowa caucus, so I guess it didn't affect him that much!

Anonymous said...

Meghan, I totally agree with you on the idea that this tactic is way too aggressive. Despite this, I feel like this tactic would be influential in “scaring” you to go vote at the polls. Even though these flyers were paid for by Ted Cruz’s campaign, it doesn’t mention him or his campaign anywhere on the paper; therefore, I don’t believe that it influenced voting decisions at all (especially because he did win). Further, even though these flyers are personal and even if they were visibly promoted by a candidate, they aren’t malicious in any way; they are simply trying to motivate people to go out and vote. So, I don’t think that many people will change their mind about the candidate because of this one flyer. What will probably happen, as we learned in chapter 15/16, is that those who are for the candidate won’t mind much because he is motivating non-voters, while those who are against the candidate will probably be the ones making noise since they already don’t like him.

Abhishek Paramasivan said...

I agree that this seems like is too aggressive of a campaign tactic but he might of had some reason in doing so. If you look at Trump's campaign, Trump constantly criticized and insulted many groups and people, but he is still considered a front runner for the republican party if you at the big picture. Cruz might have been so confident that his policies and ideas were better than his candidates that he thought even if people were annoyed at him, they would still pick him. If this is the case it seemed like it worked because he won over trump by a relatively decent majority. Personally I would be annoyed by this kind of mail, but growing up in a state where the election just passes every couple years and is nothing major is made of it could have affected me. Iowa being a swing state has a considerable amount of political advertisement so people in that area might react differently to seeing something like this.