It never fails that each election cycle there is the usual sanctimonious blather about how horrible negative ads are. As a hack, it annoys me to no end. This year an Iowa county leader is calling for a moratorium on attack ads. The New York Times has a chart of ad spending and what percentage has been negative:
There’s a reason negative ads exist: candidates aren’t going to tell you these things about themselves. And yet for all the worry over the effect of negative ads, they are not that detrimental to the body politic. Indeed, a new study suggests that negative ads are more informative and have a modest positive effect on political engagement (Source).
It’s a good thing these folks didn’t live in a more civil era.