Ad wars heat up in Minnesota governor's race
Political ads are picking up in Minnesota's midterm campaigns.
Driving the news: Republican Scott Jensen launched his first TV ad in the race for governor this week, joining Gov. Tim Walz and outside groups already on local airwaves.
State of play: FCC political ad filings also show ad purchases by candidates for attorney general and the battleground 2nd Congressional District.
- Deep-pocketed outside political groups have also booked time of their own through November.
Why it matters: Campaigns have no shortage of messaging tools — such as texts, direct mail, digital ads and door-knocking — but TV is still a top mode for reaching (and influencing) the masses.
Zoom in: Ads already airing underscore how big of an issue abortion has become in this year's campaign.
- Jensen's first ad seeks to make the case that he wouldn't be able to act on his past comments supporting an abortion ban, before pivoting to public safety, schools and the economy.
- Its debut follows weeks of commercials from DFL-aligned group Alliance for A Better Minnesota hammering the GOP nominee on the issue.
Walz, meanwhile, has most recently aired spots on his push for more school funding.
Reality check: While a state Supreme Court ruling protects the right to an abortion, the governor could sign additional restrictions into law or appoint new justices for future openings, as Fox9 noted in a fact-check of Jensen's ad.
- Walz's spot fails to mention recent student performance troubles, Fox9 noted.
Where they're airing: Filings with the FCC show many broadcast spots are being booked on widely-watched news shows, including Good Morning America and NBC's Today.
- But they're also already peppering breaks from Entertainment Tonight, The Price is Right, and sports programming.
The intrigue: Walz and active DFL groups have had a big cash advantage s0 far.
- Buys from major GOP groups could help Jensen close the gap, but it's unclear whether they'll weigh in, especially in the wake of a recent poll suggesting Walz's lead has grown.
The bottom line: With Election Day less than two months away, the frequency and volume of spots from candidates and political groups will only increase from here.
- Consider yourself warned.
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