87% of Ads In Presidential Race Have Been Negative

Elections 2012 - Negative Commercials - IllustrationAre you getting tired of the constant onslaught of negative ads that have saturated the airwaves this Presidential election?

Whether it's TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, online ads or direct mailouts, Republicans and Democrats have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to win the 2012 Presidential election. All told, roughly $1 billion has been spent on presidential campaign ads this election cycle.

Presidential campaigns will always utilize negative ads in an effort to weaken their opponents, but this election cycle has been particularly bad thanks to the emergence of Super PACs.

Super PACs are "independent expenditure-only committees" that can raise unlimited amounts of money. Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates for political office. Super PACs can directly attack political candidates - the only rule is that they can not co-ordinate directly with candidates or political parties.

Super PACs have spent hundreds of millions of dollars this election cycle, with the vast majority of their advertising dollars being spent on negative ads. If you have been turned off by just how negative this election has been, Super PACs deserve a large portion of the blame.

Just how negative have the ads been?

According to Bloomberg.com (via Kantar Media's CMAG), 1,086,162 ads aired in the presidential race between April (when Romney was assured the Republican nomination) and October 28th.

Of these 1,086,162 ads, a staggering 87% carried a "negative tone".

Of the pro-Democratic commercials that aired between April and October 28th, 84% were negative. Of the pro-Republican commercials that aired during the same time, 91% were negative.


After all of the ads and all of the spending, Romney and Obama are in a virtual deadlock heading into the last few days of the race.

Source: Bloomberg.com - Super-PACs Kept Romney-Obama Even in $1 Billion Ad Race

Filed under: General Knowledge

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