Why you haven’t seen more political ads on TV this summer

Scott Honour is the only Republican candidate for governor who has made a substantial purchase of television time.

With primary election day in Minnesota a little more than three weeks away, one might expect to hear voters complaining about all those campaign ads.

Not this year. 

Blame (or credit) the Republican primary for governor. The four candidates vying to take on Gov. Mark Dayton this fall might normally be expected to place a total ad buy well into six figures, but only one has made a substantial purchase of television time so far. 

Scott Honour, the GOP candidate who currently has the most money on hand, has purchased $15,000-$20,000 of airtime on Fox News statewide, according to Honour campaign consultant Pat Shortridge. Shortridge says the ads will expand to statewide broadcast outlets in the coming weeks and complement current radio and on line advertising. 

“The ads are a clear declarative statement of how Scott sees things, the problems and how he’d be different,” Shortridge said. 

Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, meanwhile, has eschewed a significant TV purchase for now. “With 85 percent of the state likely not voting in the primary (and even fewer choosing the Republican side of the ballot), sometimes expensive shot gun approaches in broadcast media are not the best uses for primary campaign expenditures,” he said.

Seifert said the campaign would target his ads online, on cable, and broadcast “as resources are available.” 

Former Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers appears to be following much of the same strategy. He announced on Twitter that he’s re-releasing his ad via YouTube rather than spend money on a large television ad buy.  

Then there’s the GOP-endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County Commisioner, who’s raised the least money among the Republican candidates so far. Johnson’s website features two ads that have aired so far only online.

“We have a smart statewide voter contact program in place that will increase Jeff Johnson’s name ID and turn out our voters,” said campaign spokesman Scot Crockett. “I am not going to comment on timing or the mix of media that we will be using.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/17/2014 - 09:39 am.

    This confuses me…

    …by buying Fox News time, isn’t Honour purchasing ad time advertising to people he already has in his pocket?

    • Submitted by Bob Johnson on 07/17/2014 - 12:52 pm.

      But, Honour is running in the Republican PRIMARY, not the general election (not yet, anyway). Fox viewers are probably most likely to be the voters in a Rep Primary, so he’s targeting them.

      All the candidates are competing for those same Republican voters.

  2. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 07/17/2014 - 11:36 am.

    The question posed in the headline isn’t answered here

    The real answer is that these four candidates are not particularly well-funded, and can’t afford it.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/17/2014 - 12:12 pm.

    Not many political ads?

    Every time I turn the TV on, I’m treated to another viewing of Mike McFadden taking one for the team, as it were. Surely, that is a political ad.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/17/2014 - 03:32 pm.


      A political ad that says nothing

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/18/2014 - 08:34 am.

        Not exactly nothing…

        Actually, McFadden’s ad says children are Republican hacks who think its funny to punch a guy in the groin. Great message eh?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/18/2014 - 08:46 am.

        I think it’s instructive

        that an ad for a candidate who’s a dad having fun coaching youth football doesn’t resonate with urban liberals. They can’t relate.

        Al Franken in a business suit talking about how big government is your friend … that’s more up their alley.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 07/18/2014 - 11:43 am.

          Serious question, Dennis….

          do you really believe the dreck you post or do you just write it to make yourself feel better and to rationalize your 24/7, 365 anger at everyone who doesn’t share your narrow world view? Do you really think that liberals aren’t out coaching kids sports teams and having fun with their own kids?

  4. Submitted by Neal Gendler on 07/17/2014 - 01:32 pm.

    Maybe it’s simply mercy

    Too few political ads? Hallelulah!

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/18/2014 - 08:37 am.

    Weird article actually

    Ask a question that no one is actually asking and then answer it. Here’s my question: where are the republican at with paying off that huge debt of theirs? Isn’t THAT going to be a factor in campaign spending?

Leave a Reply