The quick rise and fall of New Gingrich (who at least claimed to run a positive campaign) may mean people are not weary of negative ads. Then again, many candidates are campaigning negatively and had the same rise and fall.
About your last prediction, I completely agree. I can vouch, having previously worked in NYS government, that young people will have a much larger role in government. I think fresh, younger ideas will be really good for government. We should definitely be doing more virtually to save money in government.