Washington (CNN) - Eighty-two million dollars was spent on television commercials attacking the federal stimulus during this year's midterm election campaign, according to a new analysis of TV ad spending for CNN by Campaign Media Analysis Group.
And no surprise, the vast majority was spent by Republicans on commercials that claimed the stimulus has failed.
"The stimulus package just like the healthcare law was a targeted by the GOP in this year's election. Their candidates took dead aim and in most cases the word 'failed' appeared in front of the word stimulus in campaign ads," says Evan Tracey, CMAG's president and CNN's consultant on TV advertising.
The stimulus, formally known as the Recovery Act, was passed by Congress early last year in a vote that was mostly along party lines. Over the past year Republicans have repeatedly criticized the $862 billion measure for failing to sufficiently create jobs and pump up the economy.
The White House and many Democrats defend the program, saying that without the stimulus unemployment in the country would have been much higher, and that the effects of the recession would have been much more painful.
According to an Associated Press/GfK poll conducted last month, nearly two-thirds questioned said the stimulus had no real effect on the economy or made matters worse, with 32 percent saying the program has helped to bring about economic improvements.
In a separate note, CMAG's new analysis indicates only $4.1 million was spent on ads that mentioned the federal government's bailout of General Motors, which in the late spring of 2009 was considered a very controversial move.
Thursday, President Barack Obama trumpeted the highly anticipated sale of General Motors stock, saying its success proved the wisdom of the automaker's federal bailout last year that he claimed saved over a million jobs.
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