Running a Positive Campaign Can Be Done

North Carolina voters faced a tough decision Tuesday when they went to cast their vote for the next governor of the state.  The two candidates for the 2012 election were republican, Pat McCrory, and democrat, Walter Dalton.  North Carolina has not had a republican governor for twenty years.  Voters who turned out to the polls on Election Day showed they were ready to end the GOP drought for North Carolina.  The state turned over the governorship and the power of the house to Republicans.


Back in 2008 Pat McCrory ran against governor Beverly Perdue but lost just shy of four percent.  McCrory and the rest of his supporters thought after the loss of the gubernatorial race his career in politics was over.  However, Pat McCrory decided to run again and this time he promised to run an only positive campaign.

McCrory carried out this promise by making it a key factor in speeches, fundraising, and catching the attention of voters, republicans, democrats, and independents.  In his acceptance speech on Tuesday night which he gave at the Westin in Downtown Charlotte, he made it clear why he believed his campaign was so successful.  McCrory won over the Lt. Governor Dalton by  ten percent.  In his speech McCrory stated, “I think the two unique things we did, first of all, we ran a positive campaign.”

During his campaign McCrory never ran one negative TV or radio ad against his opponent, Walter Dalton.  In every ad his campaign created he talked about what he wanted to do as governor of North Carolina, his polices, his issues, and his plan for the future of the state.

With North Carolina being the tenth largest state in the United States McCrory did a fine job of running a positive statewide campaign.  It is rare you see only positive campaigns being run not only in North Carolina politics but in national politics as well.

Wednesday morning at a press conference Pat McCrory celebrated his victory with the following statement: “You can win with a positive message.”  Maybe it is time that not only the state political parties but also national political parties take note of McCroy’s victory.  Positive campaigns help candidates and their message to be conveyed to all political parties.  McCrory won big on Tuesday, his positive campaign may just be the “Carolina Comeback” and the come back national politics needs.

Zachary Abramo, Meaghan Beam, Jessica Butner, Jackson Lane

7 thoughts on “Running a Positive Campaign Can Be Done

  1. I am over ecstatic that Pat McCrory is our new governor. Running a positive campaign not only helped him win, but showed the public why we should vote for him. I think that him not talking badly about his opponent shows his outstanding character and desire to be a good governor in North Carolina. I will continue to support Pat McCrory because of his good character and desire to want to help North Carolina!

  2. After watching the different ads during the election process, I did notice a a lot ads that targeted each politicians opponent. I think what the former Mayor of my home town Charlotte did was like you said something that has never been seen before. When you have a positive campaign that does nothing but highlight what you want to accomplish, it makes your chances to win a whole a lot better. Hate ads just put your reputation in jeopardy. How can you people that you have to satisfy trust you in an office of power? I think Pat did the right thing and he will make North Carolina the best state in the U.S.

  3. During this political campaign season, many candidates and parties ran attack ads. It seemed that many of the ads were in response to an opposing one, creating a cycle of negative ads pointing out the faults in the other candidates. The whole election season seemed very negative and divided. In some cases it seemed I was voting for the lesser of two evils, not a candidate I was excited about being in office. The negativity and division between parties was evident. However, I found Pat McCrory’s campaign to be refreshing. He communicated to North Carolina voters what he stood for and wanted to accomplish without attacking Walter Dalton. I believe he gave voters an opportunity to vote for him and the solutions he presents not just against the other candidate. The fact that he won the election can hopefully set an example that positive communication can be effective in the political sphere.

  4. I have to say that I really really love the fact that you all wrote about this and acknowledged McCrory and this campaign. I complelety agree that being positive and focusing on what you would like to accomplish is more productive and reflects better on you than putting down your oppponent. I found it interesting that North Carolina hasn’t had a Republican governor in 20 years, and this campaign goes to show that all the talk about how negative campaigning isn’t attractive to voters is true. You all are so right when you say that other political candidates (Presidential, especially) should take notes from McCrory because honestly, who isn’t sick of seeing hate ads running 24/7 during election years?

  5. I am very proud of Pat for his successful campaign. I believe what he did is as close as a politician gets to being ethical. Hopefully his doings will become precedent in the North Carolina campaigns, and who knows, it could even spread to the presidential races… Probably not.

  6. McCrory’s campaign was so refreshing to witness. Politics are known for the negative ads and jabs at opponents, when that isn’t what matters. I respect how Pat McCrory focused on what he wanted to do for North Carolina as governor. I would like to see other politicians take McCrory’s lead in ethical campaigning, but I doubt we will be so lucky. The bashing and negativity drives a bigger divide in our nation when we need to come together at this time, for our country’s sake, and figure out what works best for all of us. Easier said than done, but I have to respect McCrory’s campaign and I’m happy to say I did vote for him although I don’t consider myself a Republican. I think if voters took time to research politician’s views and policies instead of strictly affiliating themselves with a certain party, we’d be better off as a country.

  7. Positive campaigns are unfortunately usually anomalies. Due to polarization and the increasing competitiveness between Republicans and Democrats, negative ads are often seen as successful and viable strategy. This is something that I both agree and disagree with. Negative ads are useful in exposing records of the opponent yet if taken too far that they become overly distasteful, the candidate running the ad can actually be seen as less reputable. Positive campaigns, although, are refreshing in our current age of political communication, and also have their benefits. Positive campaigns allow the entire campaign to be entirely focused on the actual candidate itself. Negative campaigns actually increase the attention given to the opposing candidate. Positive campaigns also continually leave audiences with positive reinforcement which can have cognitive affects at the polls. If enough effort is made at state levels across the nation to have solely positive campaigns, I think eventually this ideal could transcend to the federal level. It would be very interesting to see an entirely positive presidential campaign, yet I highly doubt that could ever happen.

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