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Missouri Gubernatorial Candidates Tailor Ads to Market

Locked in an extremely tight race, the candidates vying to be Missouri’s next governor are making their TV ad campaigns exceedingly local.

Democrat Chris Koster and Republican Eric Greitens, running to succeed Gov. Jay Nixon, both are tailoring their ads to particular markets, meaning that, say, urbanites in St. Louis are getting different messages than their fellow Missourians in rural Hannibal, the Associated Press reports.

Koster, the state’s attorney general, for instance, is airing support for parts of the Affordable Care Act in some ads, while stressing his opposition to a different part in another. A former Republican state senator, Koster voted to cut Medicaid to the poor but now has on his platform expanding Missouri eligibility to low-income adults under the terms of Obama's health care law, the AP says.

After a bruising primary, Greitens also started switching up his ads. Neither St. Louis nor Kansas City viewers will see the ad featuring Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, shooting a machine gun being broadcast in rural markets.

The AP reports that Missouri’s gubernatorial race was leading the nation with nearly $34 million spent on broadcast TV ads through Monday, according to figures from the media tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG that were analyzed by the Center for Public Integrity.