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Negative Ads More Prevalent This Year It's Offical, This Election Was the Most Negative in a Decade

This is the most negative election in recent history. Who got meaner-the Democrats or the Republicans?


A late surge in negative ads turned this election into the most negative in recent history according to an analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project, which has studied this since 2000.

Looking at just the most recent weeks since September 1, the project finds that Republicans are attacking more than Democrats. Fifty-six percent of Republican-sponsored ads (including party, candidate and interest group ads) mention an opponent, compared to 49.9 percent of ads sponsored by Democrats and their allies. Both parties have increased their rate of attacks over 2008 levels. In the comparable seven-week time period in 2008, 49.3 percent of Republican ads attacked, and 42.5 percent of Democratic ads attacked.


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That's compared to about 30 percent negative ads 10 years ago. Democrats can't claim the moral high ground, though. Overall, counting the full calendar year, Democrats are just about as likely as Republicans to run negative ads. And Democrats were also three times more likely to make personal attacks in their negative ads than republicans, saying things like, "She was a witch."

Full report here in PDF.


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