Negative Advertising

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Political experts say candidates for governor are spending record amounts to criticize each other's character because the race is dead even and negative ads sway voters better than positive ads.

With two weeks to go before the Nov. 5 election, the candidates and the political observers agree on one thing -- look for more negative ads.

Poll after poll rates the governor's race as statistically even with about one-sixth of the likely voters still undecided.

Both candidates for governor started out months ago using positive ads stressing their family backgrounds. Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman reminisced about his late father, while Republican challenger Bob Riley gathered three generations of his family around the dining room table.

The tone changed after the June 5 primary election, and Riley staked out Siegelman's ethics as his main issue.

Riley couldn't talk about Siegelman's ethics without people wanting to look at the congressman's ethics.

The result is that each candidate has bought or reserved more than $5 million in TV advertising time.