Washington, Oct.10 : The presidential contest between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain is reported to be getting increasingly negative with just 25 days to go for the polls.
According to Fox News, McCain and Obama seem to concentrating more on criticizing each other's past associations rather than on providing acceptable solutions to stop the American economy from collapsing.
Fox News claims that the television advertisements issued by both the McCain and Obama camps are getting nastier with each passing day. The campaign insults are getting more personal and the crowds at their respective rallies are getting rowdier.
The presidential candidates face a balancing act-engaging voters in a sincere economic discussion, while engaging each other in what amounts to trench warfare. But if the past week is anything to go by, trench warfare seems to be taking priority.
McCain continues to target Obama's ties with 1960s radical William Ayers. The Ayers issue has triggered a cascade of recriminations from both campaigns, and has the potential for both candidates alienating undecided voters.
The McCain campaign released a 90-second Web video Thursday examining the Ayers connection and saying the issue speaks about the Illinois senator's "judgment and candor."
The Obama campaign is mostly relying on Joe Biden to return fire. Biden on Wednesday called McCain "an angry man, lurching from one position to another."
The Obama campaign has taken to calling McCain "erratic," particularly for his economic proposals-a word some Republicans take as a slight against McCain's age, 72.
And both Democratic running mates are using a little street talk to taunt McCain for going at them through ads, and not in person.
Meanwhile, the McCain campaign is escalating its effort to cast Obama as an extreme liberal and suggest that he is somehow un-American.
McCain campaign co-chairman Frank Keating, a former Oklahoma governor, said on Dennis Miler's radio show Thursday that Obama ought to admit that he was "a guy of the street" who "used cocaine" and "voted liberally."
Republican strategist Andrea Tantaros said that McCain runs a big risk of distracting from his economic message.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor released a statement Thursday saying McCain "would rather launch angry, personal attacks than talk about the economy."
Jeremy Mayer, professor of public policy at George Mason University, said McCain's turning to Ayers because he thinks he has to go negative to win. And in doing so, he said McCain is basically mounting a late-game strategy to galvanize the base similar to what President Bush did in the last two elections.
"Whatever McCain has been doing hasn't been working. There's a real hunger among the Republican base to really attack Barack Obama. ... Republicans won base elections in 2000 and 2004. A lot of people who are on McCain's campaign are veterans of those successes," Fox News quoted Mayers, as saying.
He said he expects the final presidential debate next week to be very negative.
Polls show McCain continuing to lose ground against Obama. The Gallup tracking poll showed Obama with an 11-point lead Thursday for the second day in a row. McCain, however, says that political pundits are not going to decide whether he is going to win or not.