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Colorado Voters Facing Deluge of Campaign Ads

David Pelcyger, Tim Smith and Cassie M. Chew produced this video.

In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last month, President Obama told an audience of supporters that he, too, was tired of approving this message, referring to the flood of political advertisements his campaign airs on television and online.

The deluge of campaign ads is being concentrated in a handful of battleground states that political experts say ultimately will determine the outcome of the election.

National Public Radio and the PBS NewsHour last week visited Colorado Springs, Colo., one of the hottest political advertising markets in the country, to get a sense of what it’s like to live in a town with the airwaves overflowing with messages from the presidential candidates.

According Kantar Media/CMAG, about 1,500 political ads ran last week in Colorado Springs, a town of about 429,000 residents, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 2 to 1.

The Obama campaign has advertised heavily in the region and the state, spending, according to research by a team of University of Colorado journalism students, $4.6 million for 5,732 spots. And the Romney campaign has spent about $1.4 million for 1,596 ads.

NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro found varied opinions on the impact the ads would have on Election Day. But one thing was clear. For many in Colorado Springs, “Mute” has become the most-used button on the remote control.

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