It never made much sense that a negative election campaign could be successful; if that was the case all anyone had to do was get the lowest hit in last and they would win an election. However it has always been argued to be successful; basically the negative message sticks provided the audience find it believable: John Kerry the flip-flop stuck after all. But perhaps voters are becoming more cynical and more sophisticated. Mitt Romney was purely negative in both Iowa and New Hampshire, trying to undermine the campaigns of Huckabee and McCain his main Republican rivals; yet he went from being a favourite to being an also ran. In Michigan, of which he claimed “I've got Michigan in my DNA. I've got it in my heart and I've got cars in my bloodstream”, he was the man who could fix the economy, the positive candidate. It worked for him in Michigan and is argued in analyses as the smarter way to campaign, particularly when competing against members of your own party. The presidential race will be negative, we know that this mobilises the core vote, but I'm guessing there needs to be a lot more comparativity (s/he did this, but I do it better), or ads promoting the strengths of a candidate.