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NRSC Airs First South Dakota Ad (Video)

The race for Johnson's seat is heating up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched its first TV ad today in the newest hot race on the competitive Senate playing field, one day after national Democrats released an ad of their own.  

The spot, part of the committee's recently-announced $1 million ad buy in the state, takes aim at Democrat Rick Weiland and independent Larry Pressler — the two greatest challengers to Republican former Gov. Mike Rounds.  

"In the race for U.S. Senate, Rick Weiland and Larry Pressler have a lot in common," the ad's announcer says, noting they both support the president's health care law, "strict new gun laws" and higher energy costs. www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ2WkFOh1DQ  

The crowded race for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson is crucial to Republicans' path to the majority, which requires a net gain of six seats. The contest hit a major turning point last week when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced it would pump $1 million into the relatively cheap state.  

The problem for Republicans is that Weiland, a longtime aide to former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., isn't the only candidate who could caucus with Democrats if elected. Pressler, a former Republican senator, supported President Barack Obama in the past.  

The DSCC hit the airwaves Monday with an ad highlighting the scandal surrounding the EB-5 program in South Dakota while Rounds was governor.  

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yPuAmQmf-s  

The race is rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.  

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