If you think political ads on TV this year are more negative than ever, here’s some data that back up your observation.
An academic consortium called the Wesleyan Media Project, which says it provides “real time” tracking of all political television advertising, says in a report issued on Monday that in the last few weeks it has charted a “large uptick in negative ads.”
A couple of weeks ago, the same group said that the rate of negative advertising this year did not appear to be that much higher than in other recent general election campaigns.
But data analyzed in the final stages of the midterm contests led the group to conclude that 2010 turned out to be “the most negative campaign in recent history by both sides,” with “a marked increase in negativity as the general election season has heated up and drawn close to Election Day.”
Raw numbers cited by the project show that around half the ads broadcast by both official campaigns and “independent” interest groups related to individual congressional races are ads which “mention an opponent” – in other words, attack ads.