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Media Group: A Whopping 92% Of Ads Airing In Florida Over The Past Week Were Negative



CNN

 

Nope, it’s not your imagination. The 2012 Republican contest in Florida has been the most negative campaign on record, according to a group tracking political ads in the Sunshine State.

The analysis from Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) shows a whopping 92% of ads airing in Florida over the past week were negative. The organization said Tuesday that was a record rate for political campaigns.

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“I spent much of my academic career telling reporters, ‘Relax, this is not the most negative campaign ever,'” CMAG President Ken Goldstein said. “Well, this IS the most negative campaign ever.”

Numbers from CMAG show a total of 11,586 television spots aired in Florida between January 23 and January 29. Of those spots, 10,633 were negative and 953 were positive.

Of the 1,012 spots Newt Gingrich’s campaign ran, 95% were negative. Mitt Romney’s campaign ran 3,276 ads and 99% were negative.

The two super PACs supporting the top candidates were more divergent in their ad strategies. Restore our Future, supporting Romney, ran 4,969 spots, all of which were negative. The Gingrich-backing Winning our Future ran 1,893 spots, and only 53% were negative.

Correspondingly, the bulk of ads in Florida – 68% – were negative toward Gingrich. Twenty-three percent were anti-Romney spots. Gingrich got support from 9% of ads while pro-Romney spots accounted for less than 0.1%.

Florida’s contest, which comes to a head Tuesday as voters head to the polls, has been marked by negative campaigning from the two frontrunners.

Romney has acknowledged his campaign entered Florida with a renewed mission to discredit Gingrich after the rival candidate won South Carolina’s primary decisively.

On NBC’s “Today” Monday, Romney said his campaign decided to respond in kind to negative attacks from Gingrich.

“We were being whaled on by Speaker Gingrich and didn’t respond well in South Carolina,” Romney said. “So we decided to respond. We made it clear if people want change in Washington you have to bring in someone from outside Washington. Both the change in tactic as well as the message have had a real impact in Florida.”

For his part, Gingrich bemoaned the negative attacks from Romney Monday, saying they were “pathetic.”

“What a pathetic situation to be running for the President of the United States with nothing positive to say for yourself,” Gingrich said. “And nothing available, a big idea, big vision, a big future, and all you got to do is try to tear your opponent down to where they get smaller than you are. That’s the Romney model. Now that’s not my model. My model is to talk about big solutions.”