Greensboro, NC -- We see them, we hear them, and at this point, we can practically recite them. You can't watch a show on television, without seeing one.
Political ads are everywhere.
News 2's Liz Crawford talked to Thom Little, a political lecturer at UNC Greensboro. Little explained that political ads are effective, but only early on in the process, when a candidate is trying to define himself and his opponent(s) to voters.
According to Little, the ads were more likely to sway someone in June and July. However, now, with the election four weeks away, American voters have reached a saturation point.
"People's attitudes and opinions on the campaigns and the candidates now are pretty much set. There's not a lot of persuadable voters out there now, so I think now the chance for really making a big difference in quite slim," said Little.
The only way ads will make a difference is if new information is discovered or if a candidate makes a big mistake or says something controversial.
"If it's new information that the voters don't already have, that might make a difference, but if it's the same information recycled in a different manner, it's really not going to matter," said Little.
Another factor in the presidential election is how few undecided voters are left at this point. Little explained that polls show there are no more than 5-8% persuadable voters.
For the next month, Romney and Obama are targeting that very small percent of people.
However, just because the majority of voters have made up their mind and reached a saturation point, it doesn't mean the ads will stop.
Little said the campaigns have plenty of money to spend on ads and they won't stop until they've scrounged up every vote they can get.
Little said, "I think they're just going to keep coming. They've got the money to spend. Neither side is hurting for money. Maybe it's only 5-8% that are persuadable but they figure, 'hey if I'm going to lose this by 3%, if I can pick up 5, that's enough to do it'."
Finally, Little thinks that while the ads might keep on coming right up until election day, they won't get any more negative than they already are.
"I really don't think they can go too much further without getting some negative backlash on them."
Little thinks Obama has to remain presidential and Romney needs to show a softer side. Ads that are too aggressive doesn't help either cause.
WFMY News 2