Irresponsible and untrue ads can snatch defeat from victory in the current Presidential race. Right now, I think that either side could lose the election by continuing attack ads. The more either side attacks, the more the public will tune them out.
In a recent Fox News interview, Karl Rove had some words of wisdom for both McCain and Obama. He is quoted as saying candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have gone too far in their attacks on each other. It is well worth reading.
Rove spoke on Fox News Sunday, but I cannot find the entire video yet, only snippets taken out of context to prove particular points. It seems some people have selective hearing because some media outlets are trumpeting triumphantly "Rove says McCain has gone too far". (His statements put both parties on notice.)
Taking words out of context to support an argument is similarly self-destructive, because we can all look up the original transcripts and that destroys any credibility for that source of information.
If supporters claim that something isn’t fair, or the opposition is hiding something really awful, the public sees these acts as the actions of a victim and rarely elect victims.
Watch the polls change back and forth as the tide of attack ads continues.