Never would have guessed.

Posted by admin
Oct 31 2006

The Associated Press tells us what we already knew, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be emphasized:

Millions Spent on Negative Political Ads (New York Times-AP):

So far this campaign, the political parties have exposed voters to nearly $160 million in ads attacking congressional candidates. How much spent painting a positive image? About $17 million.

That’s just over $1 of nice for every $10 of nasty.

The message ingrained in such a disparity in numbers: Don’t vote for a candidate; vote against the opponent.

Negative ads are the coin of the realm in politics. With one week left in the campaign, voters will continue to be bombarded on television, in the mail and over the phone as political strategists make their closing arguments to a shrinking pool of those who haven’t made up their minds.

Under the terms of a 2002 campaign finance law, these messages are independent expenditures that the parties can undertake only if they do not coordinate with the candidates they are seeking to help. This type of spending by the parties on congressional campaigns is 54 percent higher than it was for the same period in the 2004 campaign season, according to data compiled by the Federal Election Commission.

It is also decidedly more negative. In 2004, the parties spent about $6 on ads in favor of congressional candidates for every $5 spent opposing candidates.

At this point, Republicans have spent $87.5 million to oppose candidates and Democrats have spent $72.6 million. But the edge on negativity, according to independent analyses of the ads, goes to the GOP.

There are seven days remaining in the campaign season. Hang in there, everyone. Your teevee broadcasters will be back to trying to sell you cars that parallel park on their own, real estate scams that don’t require any of your money, and colon-clearing miracle drugs-that-aren’t-drugs-but-“natural-supplements.”

That last one begs the question: If you put a negative campaign ad and one of those colon-clearing drug commercials back-to-back, will they cancel each other out? Someone should apply for a science grant to study that one.

Not me, though. I have had enough of all that crap (…and you have probably had enough of this scatological humor).

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