The presidential race is not the only contest where hard-hitting political ads funded by independent groups are on the rise.
Outside political organizations are paying for fliers and TV ads in state-level races across the country this fall, and there’s likely to be more of it in the final weeks of the campaign.
Liberal and conservative groups have been pumping big sums into the tightest races in states where control of a legislative chamber could flip, such as Kentucky and Washington state. The TV commercials and mailings are funded partially by national groups, and they are going on the offensive with accusations some candidates themselves may not make about their opponents.
In most states, the groups behind the spending are barred from coordinating with campaigns.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.