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Posted on 10.23.2012

Suffering from political ad fatigue? You’re not alone.

It's been more than a month since the Democratic National Convention, where President Barack Obama quipped, "If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I."

The president was commenting on the unprecedented amount of money pouring into political advertising during this general election season, which has resulted in a television-watching experience that can leave you wondering if that rerun of Seinfeld is sharing a time block with a political drama.

According to The Washington Post, which has a fascinating interactive map tracking "the spending race," the candidates have spent more than $660 million on television advertising - $300 million for President Obama's campaign, and $366 million for Mitt Romney's campaign. And although it's hard to believe, what you're seeing in Tennessee probably isn't as bad as what folks in swing states are facing. The Post indicates that both campaigns and their "allied parties and interest groups" have focused their television ad dollars in media markets reaching voters in swing states. Florida has seen the most spending, at $136 million. Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina - where airtime is cheaper - have experienced the highest number of political ads.

So has the ad blitz been effective in informing voters about their political choices this season? Or is all this communication just causing political ad fatigue? If you think it's the latter, you're not alone.

The Post's spending map indicates that 81 percent of ad spending from the Obama campaign and 88 percent of the ad spending from the Romney campaign has gone toward negative ads. And it seems voters aren't too happy about it. A Knights of Columbus-Marist poll released back in July showed that almost 80 percent of Americans were frustrated by ongoing political battle. About two-thirds, or 66 percent, say the candidates have spent more time on the attack than addressing important issues, and 64 percent say the negativity of these campaign ads harms the political process.

What do you think? Does the negative tone of political advertising hurt the political process? Has it turned you off from the election all together? Tell us what you think.

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