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Utah Campaign Ad Shows Rare Unity Between Opposing Candidates

By Lauren Gilger, Katie Campbell
Published: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 11:55am
Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 12:07pm
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An ad encouraging voters to oust President Donald Trump against a backdrop of white supremacists wielding tiki torches.

A Trump retort painting the picture of an American dystopia under former Vice President Joe Biden.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema going to bat for Mark Kelly in his race against her fellow senator, Martha McSally, and McSally’s jab at the man she recently dubbed “Counterfeit Kelly."

That’s just a sampling of the negative ads voters have grown accustomed to.

These messages and their often cynical, even nasty tones have become the norm — which may explain why so many people seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief this week when they saw a new ad out of Utah.

The state’s two gubernatorial candidates appeared in the ad together — not to attack each other but to promote unity.

As usual in politics, the devil may be in the details here.

Republican Lt.  Gov. Spencer Cox has a decided lead over Democrat Chris Peterson, according to polls. But the friendly, civil ad was a welcome relief in 2020, and The Show wanted to know why we don’t see more ads like it.

Clark Olson is a professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University and the founding director of the Institute for Civil Dialogue. The Show spoke with him about his initial reaction to Utah's ad.

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