"Negative ads DON'T work": political consultant A.
Negative ads DO work": political consultant B.
Both are right--unfortunately.
Negative ads, those that attack an opponent's views, rather than putting your own views forward, predominate in the 2 major campaigns in this area: Conway versus Paul, Barr versus Chandler; to my intense regret. These guys should know better, and we voters certainly deserve better.
But since both are taking the negative ad approach--and one will win--ergo, for one candidate, negative ads work (and for the other, they don't). Drat!
May I make a modest proposal?
In future races, after the primary, can the candidates get together, perhaps with the help of an objective third party, such as the League of Women Voters, and agree on a few major issues that all candidates should address--issues the voters have a right to know where the candidates stand. Let Rand Paul pick 3 issues which Jack Conway MUST answer in their debates, and in the ads Conway runs on tv. Conversely, let Jack Conway pick 3 other issues which Rand Paul MUST answer in his ads and debates. Things such as: cap and trade, Bush tax cuts, the war in Afghanistan, health care, extending the Patriot Act, and so on. If Paul doesnt like Conway's answer on tax cuts, he can state his own position in a reply ad.
This does not completely rule out negative ads, darn it, but at least we will know where they stand on important issues, and not just in ads that attack the other.
Who knows? Maybe we will learn that "positive ads work!"
I'm Just Sayin'