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Positively negative



Published: Sun, November 4, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Positively negative

By now, it must seem like you’ve seen a million TV ads for or against President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney, even though it was only about 35,000 in the Youngstown area as of last week.

But while you may have been off by the numbers, if you said most of the ads were negative, you were right.

By a Washington Post tabulation, 85 percent of the ads bought by Democrats and 91 percent of those bought by Republicans were negative.

Which begs the question: If everyone says they hate negative campaigns, why do both campaigns spend the lion’s share of their money on negative ads?

Because no matter how much people may say they hate negative ads, studies show they work.

Which is a depressing commentary on human nature and a frightening prospect for the future of political discourse.


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