As the first bit of election season wraps up tomorrow we'll get at least one reprieve, most negative political ad's should disappear for a while.
Rockford's seen its share of attack ad's with two local races pitting incumbents against each other.
It seems like we've lost our civility, but political scientist P.S. Ruckman says that's nothing.
"Compared to 1801 we're nicer than we've ever been, in the 1800's you would advertise your opponent was dead."
He says voters historically use three criteria. Issues, candidates, and party affiliation. With party being the strongest. But Ruckman says party affiliation is taking a back seat to the individual candidates.
"If you're behind 20-30 points and you've got to make up a bunch of ground, the way to do it is you go straight for your opponents jugular personally, because that's what people are voting on."
Ruckman says the research shows primaries also attract a different type of voter. One who has the time and resources to be more politically active. Which is why candidates often go negative.
"Negative campaigns are used because they work."