Obama campaign buys TV ads in Twin Cities market

With MPR’s Tom Scheck.

With less than two weeks to go before the election, President Barack Obama’s campaign says it will be doing a last-minute ad buy in the Twin Cities broadcast market through Election Day.

A campaign official declined to say how much it is spending.

The news comes as Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign announced a modest ad buy for the area as well. In recent days, Republicans have hinted that they’re looking to expand the map in Minnesota, though it has not been considered a competitive state this election.

An Obama campaign official stressed that the buy is targeted at western Wisconsin, a battleground state that overlaps with the Twin Cities media market.

This is Obama’s first TV buy in the Twin Cities market. The campaign has been broadcasting in the Rochester area largely because it overlaps with Iowa, another battleground state. Obama has also been advertising on the radio here, and his ads can be seen on cable as part of a national effort.

Romney’s ground game in Minnesota is non-existent , though outside political groups including Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund and Americans for Job Security have been running ads in the state critical of Obama’s record.

Neither Romney nor his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, have campaigned in Minnesota, but both have stopped in to raise money.

Meanwhile, Obama and his surrogates have been to the state for public events. Neither Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden have traveled here since Labor Day, however.

Update: The public file shows President Obama’s campaign spending $137,010 at KARE-11 and Fox9 through election day.

Romney’s campaign is spending $29,550 on KARE-11 and KSTP-TV.

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