Gillibrand, on the air, in a factory

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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is up with her first television ad of the campaign, a spot designed for upstate audiences that emphasizes her commitment to American manufacturing.

The 30-second ad features Gillibrand walking through a manufacturing plant, talking about why it's important, and how she voted against some tax breaks for companies that outsourced jobs.

Her Republican opponent, Manhattan attorney Wendy Long, has made a push upstate too, concentrating her efforts on the conservative voters who populate the region, and helped her defeat sitting congressman Bob Turner in the June primary.

But Gillibrand has always been relatively popular upstate. She served one and a half terms representing a district near Albany, and is conversant on a number of the local issues that sometimes confound downstate candidates. In June, a Siena poll found her with a 54 percent approval rating upstate, slightly better than she did in New York City (48 percent) or the suburbs (47 percent).

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Manufacturing has been a particular interest of hers lately. In her only appearance on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte earlier this month, she was introduced as the senator "fighting to make sure we see 'Made In America' again."

For Gillibrand, the late start reflects a race that hasn't quite materialized, with Long trailing her by a wide margin in the polls. So the campaign is a convenient excuse for Gillibrand to spend some of her $10 million warchest and bump her name recognition and favorable ratings.

According to a press release from the Gillibrand campaign, the ad will be airing "across upstate." A spokesman said the buy is "substantial," and that the campaign will be on the air through election day.