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Published August 19 2010

Barrage of political advertising expected

Duck and cover. The political advertising blitz is under way.

With less than 80 days until Election Day, North Dakota broadcasters might soon begin airing a slew of political ads meant to influence voters who’ll decide the state’s competitive U.S. House race.

Campaign ads for – or against – Democratic-NPL incumbent Earl Pomeroy and Republican challenger Rick Berg have been relatively minimal so far this election year.

But in the final weeks leading up to Nov. 2, national and state campaigns are finalizing plans to reserve advertising time on North Dakota airwaves.

On YouTube Wednesday, Berg unveiled the first ad of his general election campaign, which will soon be reaching TV viewers across North Dakota.

The 30-second ad promotes Berg’s bid for Congress by showcasing how he believes Washington could learn from North Dakota.

“As I travel the state of North Dakota, everywhere I go people tell me that they are concerned about the direction Washington is taking us,” Berg said in a campaign statement. “This ad sums up the focus of our campaign to get our country back on track.”

The ad is Berg’s second of the 2010 campaign season. His first – a look at Berg’s life and 26-year career as a state legislator – aired prior to North Dakota Republicans’ state convention in March, when Berg was still in a contested bid for the party’s nomination.

Meanwhile, Pomeroy has released three ads so far this campaign season and has a fourth ad available on his website.

Pomeroy’s ads took a similar approach to Berg’s, looking at Pomeroy’s stance on policy issues and what he’s done for North Dakota during nine terms as the state’s congressman.

Pomeroy campaign spokesman Brenden Timpe said Wednesday that the campaign had not yet announced plans to run more ads before Election Day.

Aside from the candidates’ potential ad battle, national party campaign committees also are expected to join the fray in the coming weeks.

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have announced plans to run ads for party candidates in districts nationwide.

North Dakota, as a battleground state this year, is among the targets for both committees’ ad blitzes.

However, it’s unknown how much of the multi-million-dollar ad buys will be seen in North Dakota or when those ads might begin airing.

The DCCC has reserved ad time in 56 congressional districts across the nation at a cost of $49 million.

Likewise, the NRCC announced this week that it plans to spend $22 million on a first wave of advertising in 40 congressional districts.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541