President Obama's campaign plans to spend money to run television ads in the Twin Cities market in the final weeks of the campaign, an Obama campaign official said.
But the official said the ad buy is "very small," less than one percent of the total ad spending the campaign plans in the final weeks, and it is "targeted to Wisconsin." Twin Cities stations are aired in western Wisconsin, which has long been considered a swing state in the presidential race.
"It is not about putting Minnesota in play," the official said.
The news of the Obama ad buy in Minnesota comes as the Associated Press is reporting Republican Mitt Romney's campaign is also planning to air Minnesota ads for the first time in his general election campaign.
It is not clear whether the spending is designed to woo voters in the state's battleground neighbors or because the campaign believes Minnesota is winnable.
Neither Obama nor Romney's ad buys appear to be very sizable.
By the end of the day Friday, public files indicated Romney had bought about $29,000 worth of ad time on two Twin Cities stations (KSTP and KARE) and Obama had purchased $15,000 worth of time on KMSP. Public filing of advertising information sometimes lags behind the actual purchase.
Republicans said Obama's buy indicated he believes he is embattled in Minnesota. The Obama official said their campaign, while not taking Minnesota for granted, is not moving the state to the threatened column.
Minnesota has given its ten electoral votes to the Democratic presidential campaign in every election since 1972.