The Presidential Race’s Most Effective Campaign Spots

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The clock as of September 18. Photo: Getty Images

The ads will keep on coming in this presidential race — in the week ending September 30 alone, Barack Obama, John McCain, and the Democratic and Republican National Committees spent a combined $19 million on TV commercials. But this moment, before the final debate and the closing frenzy of accelerating headlines it will launch, seems as good as any to evaluate the best of what we’ve seen so far. We’ve selected the top presidential campaign spots of 2008 (and a couple from 2007), ranked by effectiveness, not accuracy — though the two overlap, since ads lose at least part of their potency if they can be debunked. See the video slideshow.