Obama, Romney Tone it Down in Wake of Colorado Shooting

Campaigns Attempting to Pull Negative Ads Out of Battle-Ground State

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According to Politico, both President Barack Obama and candidate Mitt Romney are scrambling to pull ads from the Colorado market in the wake of the mass murder in Aurora last night.

But not all of them. The campaigns indicated they will pull negative ads, or what an Obama campaign spokeswoman called "contrast advertising."

This raises a couple of issues. The first is that it takes time to pull ads off the air, especially heading into a weekend. Also, considering the tone of the campaigns in battle-ground states up to now, pulling negative ads might mean pulling almost all of the ads. According to Kantar Media CMAG, in another battleground market -- Columbus, Ohio -- 1,640 political spots aired during the first 12 days of July and every presidential ad was negative.

Interestingly, during the wild fires that ravaged Colorado earlier this summer, negative presidential campaign advertising -- whether from the candidates or affiliated Super PACs -- actually increased. According to a CMAG analysis of ads running in Colorado Springs at the time, "between June 18-27, occurrences of negative spots broke 100 on seven of the 10 days."

2 p.m. UPDATE: According to Politico, the Obama campaign is pulling all of its spots from the Colorado market.

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