If it seems like you're only seeing negative ads these days, there's a good reason: The vast majority of campaign ads are negative -- a fact that is only being exacerbated by the ballooning influence of outside groups, who are running 80 percent negative ads.
But who is bearing the brunt of all of that negativity? The Post's great graphics team put together a slew of charts to tell the tale, our favorite of which is below. It shows which candidates have had the most money spent against them on negative ads.
The top three, we would note, are Republicans -- a fact that owes in part to Democrats' advantage on the airwaves.
But the chart, we would emphasize, doesn't paint the whole picture. That's because more than 60 days before an election, outside groups don't have to disclose so-called "issue ads" that are often thinly veiled negative ads. Ads that directly advocate for or against a candidate -- and issue ads within 60 days of an election -- are disclosed and included in the chart above, but plenty has been spent on "issue ads" before early September.
North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D), for instance, faced a lot of these ads early in the 2014 election cycle from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. Those ads won't show up on this chart, but their purpose was pretty clear. In all, AFP is expected to spend more than $125 million this election cycle, but the group will only report a tiny fraction of that spending to the Federal Election Commission.
If you factored in all of that money, the above chart probably wouldn't be so GOP-heavy.
But all in all, it's pretty remarkable that so many candidates for Senate have had so much money -- as much as $26 million against Hagan's opponent, Thom Tillis (R) -- spent to bring them down a peg.
And these numbers, we would re-emphasize, are actually low estimates.