While it may be easy to dismiss negative attack ads as a pox on both houses during presidential elections, a new memo written by Kantar Media’s Elizabeth Wilder shows that Republicans are once again far out-spending Democrats on negative ads.
More than 63,000 general election ads were aired nationwide between April 10 and May 24, with just over half of them positive. But if you break down those numbers by party affiliation, the numbers tell another story. Democratic presidential advertisers, led by the Obama campaign itself, aired more than 25,000 positive ads compared to just 10,844 negative ones, good for a 70% positive ad rate. Meanwhile, Republican advertisers — the largest of which have been outside groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS — have released just 7,584 positive ads compared to more than 20,000 negative ones. Take a look:
Perhaps Karl Rove isn’t on Kantar Media’s mailing list, because just this week, Rove’s SuperPAC American Crossroads released a negative ad attacking President Obama for his negative ads.