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Election season means candidate advertising on screens across the state

Noem-vs-Smith-Graphic
Joshua Haiar
/
SDPB

In the twenty-first century, political advertising has become unavoidable. What goes into these major campaign investments – and how effective are they?

It’s election season in America, but if you own a TV set, you’ve already heard plenty about it via political ads by now.

South Dakota State University political science professor David Wiltse said you can see different approaches at work in each ad this election.

“What Jamie Smith is putting out are things that try to build upon his personal character and try to boost his personal creditability, and in a way that kinda works against people’s base partisanship," Wiltse said. "Whereas with Kristi Noem she can put out ads that are really targeting the Republican base. Her interest is to activate people’s partisanship as much as possible and get people to reliably come home to her campaign essentially.”

Wiltse said not to put too much stock into advertising though.

“In the end, campaigning does not matter as much as a lot of people think it does," Wiltse said. "There are so many things that are just kind of baked into the decisions people make at the polling place. There’s a rather small portion of the electorate that is really susceptible to campaign messaging.”

Election Day is November 8th, and political advertising will likely be on your screens and radios all the way to the very end.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering education, healthcare, arts and culture.