(CNN) – An independent conservative group announced Monday it will drop another half-million on ad time in Minnesota, a state considered safe for President Barack Obama.
American Future Fund said it will expand its $500,000 ad buy from last week for a 30-second spot, spending an additional $483,000 to run the commercial statewide on broadcast and cable through October 10.
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The ad, "Promises," makes no mention of GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Instead, it focuses squarely on Obama by comparing his 2008 message with that of his 2012 campaign.
"We're going through some tough times," he says in campaign footage taken four years ago. The ad then switches to a June 2012 weekly address, when Obama said, "We're still going through some tough times."
Another comparison shows Obama talking about the need to "pay down the debt" both in 2008 and 2012.
The video ends with cautionary text on the screen: "We can't afford four more years of the same speeches."
Minnesota hasn't exactly been a hot destination for the presidential campaigns. Vice President Joe Biden appeared in the state in August, and his wife, Jill, campaigned there last month.
Romney, himself, made a rare visit to Minnesota in late August for a fund-raiser. The president, meanwhile, hasn't stopped in the state since June 1.
However, with the pick of Rep. Paul Ryan from neighboring Wisconsin to be Romney's running mate, some political observers considered the choice a possible strategy to target voters from the Upper Midwest.
Recent polling shows it could still be an uphill battle for Romney in Minnesota. A Mason-Dixon/Star Tribune poll conducted Sept. 17-19 indicated Obama led Romney in the state by eight points, 48% to 40%. In 2008, Obama carried the state over Sen. John McCain by 10 percentage points, and CNN's Electoral Map rates the state "safe" for Obama this cycle.
American Future Fund bills itself as an advocacy groups that aims to "communicate conservative and free market ideals." While the group frequently spends money attacking Democratic candidates in Congressional races, it also purchased an ad buy in Wisconsin and Minnesota in mid-September, hitting the president again on what the group described as his broken promises.
The new spot could be a ploy to help Republican candidates down the ballot in Minnesota by turning out the conservative vote. Rep. Michele Bachmann, for example, is running in a competitive race to defend her seat in the House. Political handicapper Charlie Cook rates her race, as well as incumbent Rep. John Kline's race, as only "leaning Republican." Incumbent Rep. Chip Cravaack is also in a tight contest, one rated as a toss-up by Cook. The first-term congressman is battling Rick Nolan to keep his job representing Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.
Asked why the organization was spending nearly a million dollars in the state on its latest commercial, spokesman Matt Beynon said, "AFF is investing in states where it believes it can best make a difference for likeminded candidates and causes."
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.