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“People are struggling to find work because they retired from the military, and contractors they’d otherwise be working for have frozen hiring in anticipation,” Mr. Richman said.

Tim Kaine, a former governor and the Democrats’ Senate candidate, also has invested heavily in ads, making 48 buys since Aug. 1. His Republican opponent, George Allen, another former governor and former senator, has made just nine — though Republicans said they expect Mr. Allen to boost that number in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

But it’s lower down on the ticket that makes this region bulge with more politicalparaphernalia than just about anywhere else. The 2nd Congressional District has changed hands in the past two elections, and this year’s contest, between Mr. Rigell and Democratic challenger Paul Hirschbiel, is the most competitive House race in the state.

As if that weren’t enough, “there’s a very hot slate of City Council races that will be elected on the same day,” said Mr. Byler, the district Republican Party chairman. “It’s cutting into our volunteer base.”

National political party committees have become involved in the House race, pouring money raised nationally into ads on behalf of their candidates.

It doesn’t hurt that airtime in Hampton Roads is inexpensive compared with that of Washington, which reaches Northern Virginia but also covers Maryland and the District — both of them reliably Democratic — or other swing markets, such as Denver.

The flood of ads has left voters confused about all of the politicians running for office, much less the different groups that are paying for ads on their behalf.

“Yes, yes they are. We’re so tired of seeing them. On both sides,” Mr. Spruill said.

Yet in some cases, it’s local groups that have asked for some of the onslaught.

“They’re not just coming in, they’re being invited in by traditional groups,” said state Sen. Kenny Alexander, a Democrat who just won a special election to the state Senate.

Community groups with strong local ties and a solid volunteer base, but little money, have made for perfect partners for super PACs, which often have just the opposite.

Democratic outside groups have worked with black churches and “nonpolitical groups like the NAACP — you know how they lean,” Mr. Alexander said.

On the Republican side it’s “tea party groups, libertarians, taxpayer alliances, that kind of thing,” Mr. Byler said.

He said the groundwork by the 14 interest groups, more so than a barrage of commercials, is likely to make the difference.

“At the end of the day, TV ads don’t vote, and it will be the people we’ve identified through those groups that do,” he said.