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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama Plans Wisconsin Advertising, Signaling the State Is Now in Play


“On, Wisconsin!”

That is the title of the Badgers fight song at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as one of the official state songs. It also underscores a new dynamic in the presidential race.

President Obama's re-election campaign on Tuesday added Wisconsin to its list of targeted states. The campaign's first television advertisements there are set to begin on Thursday, a sign that the state is more competitive than the Obama campaign had once expected.

Mitt Romney's campaign started its advertisements in Wisconsin earlier this week. Outside groups on both sides have also been advertising in the state.

All of those movements, aides said, led Mr. Obama to start his a dvertising in a state he won by 14 percentage points four years ago. Democratic presidential candidates have carried the state since 1988, but it was among the most fiercely competitive battlegrounds in 2000 and 2004.

“With Romney up on the air now in addition to his Republican allies, we're not taking anything for granted,” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign.

Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, is scheduled to campaign near Green Bay on Wednesday. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is set to campaign in the state on Thursday.

Wisconsin is among eight tossup states, according to The New York Times's battleground rankings.