The Pew Research Center has a new study on political polarization in the 2014 midterms, and it mostly confirms what we already know: The more ideologically partisan you are — especially if you're conservative — the more likely you are to vote.
But it goes a little further than that. In fact, the more you hate the party you aren't part of, the more likely you are to vote.
And not only that, there are plenty of people whose entire voting strategy is driven by distaste for the other side. Thirty-six percent of likely voters see their vote in terms of being against the other party. They aren't voting for their party; they just can't stand the idea of the other party winning!
This impulse to cast a ballot against the opposition more so than for your team is especially strong among the most conservative Americans, or what Pew calls "consistent conservatives." This also happens to be the demographic most driven to vote this year. Nearly as many of these folks see their vote as against the other side (44 percent) as for their side (46 percent).
Given that the election has coasted into a period of incessant negative ads -- and also that the most defining thing about this election seems to be arguing about whether people are or aren't like President Obama -- this probably shouldn't be too surprising.
But it's also a big reason why those negative ads never stop.
This post has been updated.