Deluge Of Political Ads Coming To A TV Screen Near You; $39M Spent So Far

June 6, 2016
Photo: Hillary Clinton in Denver Nov 2015 (AP Photo)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in a high school gymnasium in Denver. 

Coloradans are about to see the political ads hit their TV screens with more force this week, but it’s only a hint of what’s to come later this election year. More than $39 million worth of ads are slated to run so far this year, with many of them scheduled for the fall.

That’s based on analysis of contracts filed with the Federal Communications Commission through Friday and Comcast Spotlight, which sells cable and satellite TV ads in Colorado.

This week, Priorities USA Action will begin airing the first of it’s more than $10.5 million worth of ads, which will attack Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

The federal super PAC originally created to support Barack Obama in his 2008 and 2012 presidential runs is now backing Democrat Hillary Clinton. Priorities will spend $1.5 million on nearly 6,400 against him this month.

And that’s just the beginning. Priorities has time reserved through the Nov. 8 general election with only a few weeks of respite.

Colorado’s Senate Race

Meanwhile, ads for three GOP Senate candidates and a super PAC supporting a fourth began airing up to six weeks ahead of Colorado’s June 28 primary election. A fifth GOP candidate has yet to schedule TV time.

Still, as the five GOP candidates vie for the nomination, incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is a consistent sight on Colorado’s TV screens. He’s been airing ads since early April. And in the six weeks leading up to the primary, Bennet accounts for 51 percent of the advertising purchased thus far. The Democrat has aired or scheduled more than $4.6 million worth of ads between April and early September.

Fort Collins businessman Jack Graham leads the GOP contenders in ad spending with more than $568,000 spent on more than 2,500 ads in Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. He began airing ads May 25 and has time booked through next Sunday.

Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha has scheduled more than 1,100 ads in Denver and Colorado Springs from May 17 through June 28 at a cost of $271,000.

Former state Rep. Jon Keyser is airing $4,256 in cable ads in Denver and Colorado Springs this week.

And a federal super PAC, Senate Conservatives Action, is airing more than $25,000 on ads in Colorado Springs advocating the candidacy of El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn.

Former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier said he’ll start airing ads this week, though no contracts had been filed with the FCC through last Friday.

Here's all political TV ad spending so far this year: