Is the 2012 Election the “Most Negative Campaign in History”?

This post is part of an ongoing series of social media analyses of social sentiment and social media engagement regarding the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.

Since the 2012 election became a two man contest, each candidate has been hard hit by the other’s negative ad campaigning; campaigns that some suggest are too many too frequently. The rhetoric has become so vitriolic that voters have begun charging that this current election is the most negative in recent history. And they wouldn’t be wrong, the political sniping is far from being one sided, with both President Obama and Governor Romney using an impressive amount of airtime for their negative ads.

So, do social media users find one campaign’s ads meaner than the other?

Using Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform, we monitored conversation surrounding both candidates, in relation to their negative campaigning. In examining almost 5,400 opinions discussing the issue, we’ve uncovered quite a bit.

Net Sentiment

Despite 89% of his TV ads being negative, to Governor Romney’s 94%, Twitter users find the President’s negative campaigning more vitriolic, at 67% compared to the 55% who feel the same about the former governor.

Although both candidates couldn’t be more opposite, our qualitative visualization, which reveals broader conversation topics, found a commonality between them: their constituents think the other one is lying.

If anything can be gleaned about the state of American politics it’s that the trust in elected officials is no longer there.

Do you find both candidates hypocritical when it comes to negative campaign ads or are these just the rules of the game? Tweet us your thoughts @crimsonhexagon or comment below.


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