Negative campaigning fires up Obama-Romney race in Iowa

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell says that getting people back to work is the biggest issue of this presidential campaign.

Virginia and Iowa are battleground states. And McDonnell may be among those under consideration to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.

“What happens in Virginia, what happens in Iowa could determine who’s going to be the next President of the United States,” Gov. McDonnell said. “It’s important.”

But as he stumps in Davenport on Thursday for Romney, the negative tone from both Republicans and Democrats steals the spotlight.

It follows a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that shows more than a third of American voters now think the presidential campaign has turned negative.

“I know the negativity is what turns me off,” said voter Barb Goettig. “You hear it all the time. I just don’t watch television because I don’t want to hear the ads.”

Romney’s singing is saturating battleground states like Iowa in an attack ad.

“Some of it is just downright negative and beneath the dignity of the presidency,” McDonnell said.

And President Obama’s record comes under fire as well in a variety of spots.

“It shows an administration that’s out of ideas and running out of time,” McDonnell said.

In a memo released Thursday, the Obama for America Iowa staffers offered their take on the situation.

“It’s time for Mitt Romney to get away from the negative attacks and explain to Iowans why he thinks going back to the top-down economic policy that failed us in the past would work now,” the memo read.

As the campaign buses come back to the Hawkeye state, there’s concern that negative campaigning could backfire and turn off voters.

Davenport attorney Dennis Duffy, a Romney supporter, wishes all the negativity could go away.

“One after another after another, eventually they all run together,” he said. “You begin to ignore the message.”

Yet Governor McDonnell and Duffy agree that the ads define stark differences between the candidates.

“Those contrast ads actually work,” McDonnell said. “It gives people a choice of information.”

With more than three months to go in the campaign, it’s information that’s not going away any time soon.

“I think there will probably be more money spent on this presidential election than any in history,” McDonnell concluded. “People in Iowa and Virginia are going to have to put up with it for a little while.”

It might be a little while with a lot of ads in the months to come.