2012 Campaign Negative as Seemed

A collage of nighttime network television commercials largely dominated by campaign ads. Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

After 1 million negative ads, it’s easy to conclude that the 2012 presidential campaign was negative.

And it was, according to Americans surveyed in a Pew poll out today.

The Pew Research Center found 68 percent of voters saying the campaign between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney was more negative than usual, compared with 54 percent who felt the same way when Obama faced John McCain four years ago.

Fifty-one percent said there was less discussion of the issues than usual, compared with 57 percent in 2008 who said there was a greater focus on issues.

The reason they might feel that way. According to Kantar Media’s CMAG, 87 percent of the 1,233,522 presidential campaign ads on broadcast TV and national cable in 2012 were negative.


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