Minnesota candidates spent 'at least $40m' on TV, radio election ads

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More than $40 million was spent on television and radio campaign ads by candidates standing in last week's elections.

Minnesota's voters were hit with an almost constant stream of political messages as millions of dollars were dropped on state and national campaigns, according to analysis by the Star Tribune.

The newspaper found that in the weeks running up to the November 4 Midterms, almost every prime-time television advertising spots were taken up by campaign ads.

Democratic U.S Sen. Al Franken was the biggest spender, dropping $7 million on his successful re-election campaign, though the Tribune does concede that his adverts were typically positive, rather than attack ads.

But the most expensive fight took place in the Eighth Congressional District in northern Minnesota.

Incumbent, Democratic U.S Rep. Rick Nolan, ran a re-election campaign that cost an estimated $20 million, according to KARE 11, as he went up against Republican candidate Stewart Mills - and won.

Whether the ads prove effective or not, for some the end of the elections provides a welcome break from the campaigning.

The St. Cloud Times was particularly damning in its take on political campaigning, with an editorial piece saying this year's crop was "particularly disturbing, shameful and insulting to the American public."

"They target vulnerable blocks of citizens (seniors in particular) with misleading assertions," the comment continues.

"They portray opposing candidates as idiots or, at best, as unfit to serve. They blatantly twist facts about opponents to confuse or adversely influence a weary, distrustful constituency."

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