In the first three days, the story goes, God created heaven and earth, the sky and the atmosphere, and all dry land and plant life.
A lesser being ― or someone simply willing to go through hell ― could spend about the same amount of time (more, actually) doing one thing, and one thing only: binge-watching Donald Trump attack ads.
That’s according to MapLight, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that tracks the influence of money in politics, which analyzed data from the Political TV Ad Archive. It concluded that between Nov. 20, 2015, and July 14, 2016, 83 hours’ worth of negative ads ― nearly three and a half days ― ran against the Republican presidential nominee.
Surprisingly, the report notes, a large number of those ads originated not from left-leaning groups, but from the Republican establishment itself.
Of the 7,811 negative Trump ads that aired during the Republican primary, at least 1,795 were funded by “Our Principles,” a Republican group that’s fighting Donald Trump. The group has spent $16,353,117 so far during the 2016 race opposing Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.org.
A further 670 anti-Trump ads were sponsored by two different super PACs that backed Ted Cruz, while a super PAC in support of Marco Rubio paid for a further 600 ads to air against the Republican presidential nominee.
Comparatively, in the same November to July period, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was hit by “only” around 11 hours of negative ads, all of which were paid for by Republican groups.