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FAU Lecture Addresses Negative Political Ads

BOCA RATON (October 27, 2009) – The Jack Miller Forum at Florida Atlantic University presents “Negative Ads: Implications for the Future of American Democracy” with David Niven of Wright State University on Friday, November 13 at 1 p.m. in the Live Oak Room of the Student Union on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. The lecture is free and open to the public, and further information can be found by calling 561-297-3212.

In this lecture, Niven will offer a brief history of negative politics, highlighting some notable research that suggests negative ads turn off voters and keep them home on election day. Reversing conventional wisdom, he will present evidence from his own work and from others that negative ads actually attract the voter's attention to a race, help establish voters' issue knowledge and ultimately spur voter turnout. Niven will illustrate how in the absence of the negative ads we collectively loathe, our representative democracy would suffer. 

Niven teaches American politics at Wright State University. His research on campaigns and public opinion includes numerous articles.  Niven’s book, The Politics of Injustice, is a study of President Kennedy's civil rights record and its electoral consequences. After beginning his career teaching at FAU, Niven left to work in several political campaigns and then served as the speech writer for Ohio's Governor Ted Strickland.

Other upcoming lectures in the Jack Miller Forum include "Abraham Lincoln at 200: The Words Reveal the Man," with David Zerefsky of Northwestern University on Wednesday, January 13; and “Thomas Paine’s American Creed in the Age of Globalization,” with Thomas Walker of Dartmouth University on Thursday, March 18.

The Jack Miller Forum, which is organized by the department of political science in FAU's Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, is a three-year initiative funded by the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History.  The Miller Center provides a wide variety of resources to its partner faculty who are working to strengthen the teaching of America’s founding principles and history on college campuses across the United States. For more information about the Jack Miller Forum at FAU, visit

- FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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