Joe Hagan's <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/negative-campaigning-2012-1/">cover story</a> in the January 22, 2012 edition of <em>New York Magazine</em> details why the 2012 election will be the "most negative in the history of American politics."
Credit New York Magazine
If you thought the 2008 election cycle was full of negative ads, just wait until 2012's campaign gets fully underway.
The upcoming presidential campaign, says journalist Joe Hagan, is expected to "be the most negative in the history of American politics."
The contest for the seat held by Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is one of the potentially close 2012 races that could ultimately decide whether Democrats maintain control of Congress' upper chamber.
As such, the battle is attracting attention from outside groups hoping their financial assistance will make a difference for both the first-term Democrat and his Republican challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg, the state's sole House member and a former lieutenant governor.
Lynn Coffin holds boxing hand puppets of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (left) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during a campaign event this week in Sarasota, Fla.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images
In election season, conventional wisdom holds that a costly, drawn-out primary fight hurts a nominee in the general election.
It's a notion that appeals to common sense. After all, the thinking goes, if a boxer endures nine rounds with a formidable challenger and immediately steps back into the ring with a well-rested heavyweight, that can't be good.