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People love reading negative stories about Hillary Clinton (and we've got the stats to prove it)

Candidate-bashing is our national sport.

Justin Sullivan / Getty

Readers appear to revel in Clinton-bashing.

An analysis of election coverage ahead of the California primary revealed that readers devoted more time each day to "negative" articles about the presidential candidates than to stories that were neutral or positive.

Stories that hammered Hillary Clinton attracted the most attention, according to an analysis by Taboola, a recommendation technology used by some of the biggest online publishers, including USA Today, the New York Times, TMZ and Fox Television.

"People spend much more time reading negative stuff about Clinton than [Bernie] Sanders or [Donald] Trump," said Philip Olenyk, Taboola’s data scientist. "She is the champion of negative attention."

Taboola evaluated 15,000 articles published in May that mentioned at least one candidate, and used advanced machine learning techniques to attach sentiment about each politician mentioned.

Olenyk found that readers spent twice as much time reading critical stories about Clinton as they devoted to negative pieces about her rival for the Democratic nomination or her likely challenger in the general election.

That phenomenon was true throughout the country, Olenyk said. The runner-up in the negative article sweepstakes varies throughout the country.

Hillary’s Negative Skew is the highest in all states. This map shows which candidate has the second place in which state. Red states are the ones where Trump’s Negative Skew is lower than Sanders’.

The findings seem to buttress an earlier report from Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company from Boston. It concluded that the biggest news outlets published more negative stories about Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Trump.

We’ll leave it to you to decide whether people relish the nastiness when it comes to the country’s first female major-party presidential nominee, or whether there are simply more of these articles to read.

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