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Better off than four years ago? Not when it comes to political ads, report says

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More than two thirds of all ads aired in the presidential race so far have been attacks, a drastic increase compared to recent presidential campaigns, according to a new study by the political ad-tracking Wesleyan Media Project that covers the race from the start of 2011 through April 22 of this year.

Of the ads aired during that period, 70 percent were negative, compared to 10 percent in the last presidential campaign. Political scientist Michael Franz, a co-director of the project, called the change "absolutely astonishing."

The negative tone is being driven by outside groups, responsible for 86 percent of ...

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