GOP makes TV ad gains; Romanoff hits the airwaves

The general election is just three months from today and the TV ads make that clear. Contracts for political advertising at Colorado stations now total almost $37.5 million and 375 hours of TV time.

This week, Democrat Andrew Romanoff goes on the air in the 6th Congressional District race today with his first ad. It promotes balancing the budget, something required by law in Colorado but not so much at the national level. The former state House speaker has contracts for almost $1 million in ads through Nov. 4, while two congressional PACS have about $2.7 million in ad times reserved.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has yet to reserve time, but the National Republican Congressional Committee has almost $2.8 million in contracts for the fall that are sure to support Coffman and oppose Romanoff.

At least $1.5 million in buys by the Republican Attorney Generals Association is the other big news last week. As Lynn Bartels reported last week the total buy is actually $2.6 million. Think Progress reports this buy in support of GOP AG candidate Cynthia Coffman is fueled in part by the desire of the billionaire Koch brothers to avoid tougher oil and gas regulation that might be promoted by a Democratic lawyer. The RAGA’s website mentions its members fighting EPA regulations and Obamacare, two of the Koch’s primary political targets.

Democrat Don Quick faces Coffman in the race to replace term-limited John Suthers. Coffman currently is an assistant attorney general and Quick is a former assistant AG and district attorney.

Also, Republican Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner jumped in to reserve time in September and October. Gardner now has about $2.1 million in ads in this analysis, while incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has almost $3 million in time reserved or already aired.

Back at the state level, Democrats Joe Neguse, running for secretary of state, and Betsy Markey, running for state treasurer, made modest late October ad buys last week.

And Making Colorado Great, a 527 created by Democratic operatives last week, made a modest buy at one station. The governor’s race is the group’s target, according to their filing with the Secretary of State. UPDATE: This morning, the group has reserved $416,000 for 242 spots during October on KCNC.

This analysis includes only buys reported to the Federal Communications Commission by traditional television stations. It doesn’t include cable or satellite buys, because they don’t have to be reported to the FCC.

Here’s a graphic look at ad buys through Friday, Aug. 1:

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