Published: Aug 28, 2010 9:42 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 28, 2010 6:42 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Spending on political ads is on the rise across the country, and attack ads are leading the way. Candidates who take the high road do so at their peril.

As of Thursday, candidates for state and federal office had spent $395 million on ads for the November elections. That's compared with $286 million at this point in the 2006 midterms. More than half the ads have been negative.
      
Political parties and outside groups buying ads have gone negative 80 percent of the time.
      
Those numbers were compiled by Evan Tracey, who tracks political ads as president of CMAG, a division of Kantar Media.