The presidential campaigns and their surrogates have gotten away with slicing up quotes and slinging half truths, in part, because those views reinforce what partisan voters want to hear.
President Barack Obama's "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that" comment at a July campaign event was excerpted, slapped on the Internet and flipped into the Republican rallying cry "We Built It."
Obama was actually suggesting many businesses and other enterprises have benefited from government infrastructure.
Mitt Romney's "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what" remark at a secretly recorded fundraiser in May became 'Romney only cares about half of the country' and was used as fodder for an Obama campaign ad.
Tweaking, bending, and embellishing facts have long been part of U.S. politics. It continues today as campaigns barrel toward Election Day even though media outlets and outside groups are dedicating more time and resources to how candidates and campaigns parse and spin their messages.
"What's different this time isn't that they are twisting the facts, it's the tremendous volume of ads that do so," said Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact and Washington bureau chief of the Tampa Bay Times. "The ads are wall to wall not just from the Obama and Romney campaigns but also from the super PACs that support each of them."
Partisan politics creates a healthy environment for fact blurring.
"In our increasingly polarized political environment, partisans are increasingly likely to believe what they want to believe. The actual facts apparently matter less and less," said Marc Hetherington, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University.
"Much of this tendency is driven by the fact that people who identify with one party increasingly hate the other party. When you can't stand the other side, you are willing to believe just about anything about it, whether it is true or not," said Hetherington.
People are inclined to believe what they want to believe, said Stanley Renshon, an expert in the psychology of social and political behavior at the City University of New York.