Trio of tight Minnesota races make attack ads constant

Published 10:25 am Friday, November 4, 2016

ST. PAUL — Dianne Dozios tried to ignore all the political ads, tried to escape in the next room doing puzzles, but the Twin Cities-area woman and her husband finally decided the constant barrage was too much. They decided to ditch local TV stations and their beloved nightly newscasts until Nov. 9.

“Oh my God I could puke,” the 72-year-old Eagan resident said Thursday. “I can’t wait until it’s over.”

Politically and geographically, Minnesota is flyover country — a reliably blue state that seldom sees competitive congressional districts, allowing political groups to save their money for swing states such as Nevada, Florida and North Carolina. But this year, a tossup race for an open swing seat in the southeastern Minneapolis suburbs, a rematch of the costly Iron Range fight from 2014 and a race in the western suburbs where Donald Trump has become an issue have combined to unleash a deluge of political ads on Minnesota voters.

Email newsletter signup

A week out from Election Day, outside political groups had spent more on attack ads in those three districts alone than was spent throughout the entire state in 2014 — even with Sen. Al Franken on the ballot statewide for re-election that year. Add in the occasional presidential ad, and it was too much for Dozios to bear.