Under the Dome

Analysis finds NC’s US Senate race leads in negative ads

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, left, and North Carolina House Leader Thom Tillis
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, left, and North Carolina House Leader Thom Tillis

This will come as no surprise to anyone in North Carolina with a TV set, but last week the state had more negative campaign ads than anywhere in the country, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, non-profit investigative news organization.

In a story published Thursday, the group found there were more than 10,800 such ads last week dealing with the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis.

That’s more than one negative ad every minute, the organization found, using an analysis by the Kantar Media/CMAG ad-tracking firm.

“Congratulations, North Carolina: You’ve become the year’s great state of political hate,” is how the story opens.

The Center for Public Integrity found there are more than a dozen political committees, super PACs and political nonprofit groups in the mix, along with the candidates’ campaign committees.

Hagan and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee produced more than 4,300 ads last week that attacked Tillis directly or put him in a negative light contrasted with Hagan, the group found. “She’s even aired ads about ads,” the story says, citing a spot in which she slams Tillis’ ad about her record on military issues.

The Center reports Tillis and the National Republican Senatorial Committee aired about 2,900 TV ads against Hagan during the same period.

Only two dozen of the spots were positive, the Center found.

The analysis projects more than 100,000 ads will be aired in North Carolina before the Nov. 4 election.

North Carolina is on track to win the national negative ad race by the time the last one airs.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer