SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Election Day is only five weeks away and the typical flood of political ads isn't happening here in South Dakota.
Campaign ads for Matt Varilek for U.S. House started running a few weeks ago on KELOLAND television. But his campaign has now stopped airing them. Ads are running for his opponent and incumbent Kristi Noem. To date, these are the only two political candidate ads to run in KELOLAND.
"I think it improves TV considerably. I've already decided sometime ago so to me, it’s just a waste of time to watch anything at this point," Hartford resident Ray Matthis said.
Jennifer Duffy, a political analyst in Washington D.C., says South Dakota voters historically lean Republican so she's not surprised by the lack of ads.
"You have a House race where the Republican is favored and she has quite a bit more money than her Democratic challenger, which keeps him from putting a lot of advertising on the air," The Cook Political Report senior editor Jennifer Duffy said.
Don Norwick of Sioux Falls believes Political Action Committees are spending their money on races in other states this year.
"They hedge their bets where they believe their money is going to be well spent and South Dakota is so strongly Republican that they don't feel it’s good to spend. The Democratic PACs don't feel it's money well spent in South Dakota," Norwick said.
While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have each taken their campaigns to neighboring Iowa, Duffy says South Dakota is not a swing state, taking away a need for some ads.
"South Dakota is not competitive in presidential races, which is what keeps Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ads from running there,” Duffy said.
Just for reference, two years ago there were 16 candidates running political ads on KELOLAND airwaves for various campaigns.
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