This AP story, entitled "Kerry Still Standing Despite Ads' Damage", works an angle that the left has been eager to push:
President Bush's re-election team drove up negative impressions of John Kerry during a relentless $80 million advertising campaign the last three months, but the Republicans failed to undercut the Democrat's standing as a viable alternative to Bush.
The Kerry campaign counters that for all the money Bush has spent, the Republican has gained little traction.
"They have used their best opportunity, spent more than $80 million on negative advertising and John Kerry's in a strong position," said Kerry campaign pollster Mark Mellman. Most of Bush ads have criticized Kerry, although not all.
In between, two paragraphs point out something that has been often overlooked in this affair:
The Kerry campaign spent more than $60 million on ads that attempted to define the four-term Massachusetts senator for a significant part of the electorate that knows little about him and spots criticizing Bush's policies.
Democratic-leaning interest groups spent another $40 million on advertising critical of Bush.
Bush has been outspent by Kerry and his allies, which might explain his "lack of traction". The total spent by the Democrats does not even begin to address the relentless attacks levelled at the president during the Democratic primary, in which the candidates spent more time attacking Bush than they did their opponents.
It's nice to see that at least one reporter did a little number crunching while researching the article, but it's unlikely that those numbers will end up on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, or in the New York Times or Los Angeles Times.