Political ad spending in Colorado tops $105M

November 3, 2014
Photo: Gardner Spanish-language ad
Republican Senate candidate Rep. Cory Gardner began running Spanish-language ads last week. 

Colorado political TV advertising topped $105 million in the last week of the 2014 campaign, with Republicans winning the spending race but Democrats dominating the number of ads run.

The nearly 123,000 ads in the state would consume nearly 43 days if run back to back, based on contracts filed by traditional Colorado TV stations with the Federal Communications Commission through Oct. 31. CPR’s analysis doesn’t include cable or satellite ads because they don’t have to report to the FCC.

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The U.S. Senate contest between Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner is the source of most of the advertising. In the final month of the campaign, Republicans took the lead in advertising.

Here’s a look at ads by affiliation:

Udall tops all advertisers with more than 18,000 ads aired or scheduled to air.

That’s in part because candidates get cheaper rates than outside groups such as Crossroads GPS, the state’s top advertiser at $10.6 million. And Udall began advertising in late April and has been on the air ever since.

Here’s a look at the top advertisers through Oct. 31:

Big week for Spanish-language ads

The battle for the Senate is playing out heavily on Spanish-language TV stations in the final week of the campaign. Nearly $4 million in ads have aired on eight Latino stations.

Gardner bought his first ads on Hispanic TV last week, though the National Republican Senatorial Campaign began airing ads in August.

Photo: SEIU Gardner ad
The Service Employees International Union has been running Spanish-language ads against Rep. Cory Gardner.

But SEIU, a union supporting Udall, doubled its Latino ad buys during the past two weeks. That group is now the top advertiser in this market at nearly $1.6 million.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which opposes Udall and supports Gardner, is the second largest spender in Hispanic TV at more than $501,000.

Here’s a look at advertisers on Latino stations: