Negative ads have painted the 2012 election cycle more than previous races. A new study by the Wesleyan Media Project finds that 70 percent of the ads aired during the current presidential race have been negative—attacking a particular candidate by name. At this same point in the 2008 presidential race, only 9.1 percent of the ads had been negative. The amount of money spent by independent groups on advertising has also soared from $21.11 million in 2008 to $83.87 million in 2012. Republican groups have spent more on advertising than Democractic groups have, the majority of general election ads so far having been directed at the Obama campaign.