March 16, 2014
Researchers in Connecticut say the 2010 elections set a record not only for the amount of political ads, but also for the negativity of those commercials.
An analysis by Wesleyan University researchers finds that more than half of the ads broadcast for federal and gubernatorial candidates across the country after September 1 were attack ads. That's compared to 44.9 percent in 2008; 32 percent in 2004; 31.9 percent in 2002 and 32.3 percent in 2000.
Data were not available for 2006.
Wesleyan assistant professor Erika Franklin Fowler says competition drove the negativity in the 2010 election. There were at least twice as many competitive races compared to a typical midterm election, with the control of Congress up for grabs.
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