ORLANDO, FLA. -- The 2012 primary in Florida has been rated the most negative campaign in the history of this kind of tracking.
That's according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks the ratio of positive ads to attack ads.
CMAG says the long knives were out and butchering away in the Sunshine State. In the final week of campaigning, it reported that 92 percent of the ads were attack ads.
Newt Gingrich ran 95 percent negative, while Mitt Romney came close to a perfect score with 99 percent negative ads, according to CMAG.
The outfit said that the superPAC supporting Romney (Restore Our Future) ran attack ads exclusively. The superPAC supporting Newt Gingrich (Winning our Future) ran 53 percent negative.
The Romney superPAC ran more ads than the Gingrich superPAC, by a ratio of 4 to 1, CMAG said.
Sixty-eight percent of the ads that ran in Florida were attack ads aimed at Gingrich, according to CMAG.
Romney was hit by 23 percent of the negative ads, CMAG reported.
The lesson that the candidates and their superPACS will take from this, and will apply to their campaigns, is that dirty fighting works.
And the dirtier you fight, the greater you will succeed.
While some people may decry attack ads, their undeniable success guarantees their longevity.
The success of the Citizens United ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court, permitting superPACS to pump unlimited money into campaigns without having to abide by any standards of fact, guarantees that attack ads will become even more brutal.
The lesson of Florida may ultimately be that the day of the positive campaign is over.