Don’t worry – this nasty election isn’t ending on a positive note.
Of nearly 70,000 political television ads that ran in recent days, less than one in 10 were primarily positive, a CNN analysis of data from Kantar Media/CMAG shows.
The overwhelming majority – 92% – had either negative messages or focused on differences between the two candidates. Only 3% focused on positive messages about Clinton, and 5% were built around positive messages about Trump.
The ads – 69,500 spotted by Kantar Media between November 1-5 – reflect the closing arguments made by the presidential campaigns and outside groups like super PACs. Over the course of the final week, about $110 million will be spent on television advertising, according to data from the ad tracking firm.
In this year of divisive rhetoric, it appears that’s how the candidates have chosen to end it.
The pronounced trend toward negativity largely bore out in the battleground states that are expected to decide the election. In Florida, which has seen more spent on general election advertising than any other state, only 3 percent of ads supported Clinton and 7% supported Trump.
Ads critical of Trump were far more prevalent than those critical of Clinton. Nearly 47,500 of the 69,500 spots identified by Kantar Media, an advertising tracking firm, in this period were critical of Trump. About 16,400 were critical of Clinton.
And it wasn’t just outside groups, like super PACs, driving the negativity. Ninety-six percent of ads run by Clinton’s campaign were negative towards Trump, and 83% of the Trump campaign’s spots were negative towards Clinton.
Ads were rated as positive if they focused on casting one candidate in a positive light and negative if they focused either entirely or mostly on criticism of the opponent.
The data include spots that ran on national cable, national broadcast networks and local broadcast stations. There are more than 100 distinct advertisements, ranging between 30 seconds and two minutes, produced by two dozen groups, including the presidential campaigns and super PACs.
There is some good news: While the trend towards divisive politics may be here to stay, the ads will be gone as the sun sets on Election Day.