Skip to Content

Here’s When the Presidential Race Officially Got Nasty

Ted Cruz in New Hampshire.Ted Cruz in New Hampshire.
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted CruzPhotograph by The Washington Post /Getty Images

The Republican primary has taken a nasty turn.

With the nation’s first primary election in New Hampshire less than a week away, Republican campaign ads have turned negative. More than half of the Republican ads running in New Hampshire during the week ending this Wednesday were negative, Bloomberg reported.

During the previous week, prior to Ted Cruz’s victory in the Iowa Caucus, less than 30% of Republican ads were negative. Now, Cruz is bearing the brunt of the attack ads, with 16% of them aimed at him.

The heat has also turned up on Rubio, who placed third in Iowa. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush have been aiming their attack ads at the Florida senator, according to a report in the New York Times that found the two campaigns had discussed their mutual interests in taking down Rubio.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Chris Christie have been largely flying under the radar. Except for a two-minute negative ad released by Bush—who has made no secret of his low opinion for the Iowa Caucus second-place finisher—Trump has been targeted by few attack ads. Christie has not had any negative ads, according to Bloomberg.