This is a project of the first-ever University of Colorado News Corps, a class in Journalism & Mass Communication at CU, aimed at providing student-produced news stories, multimedia work and interactive information to Colorado and national media outlets.

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Final Denver political ad tally

The CU News Corps analyzed advertising contracts filed with the four top Denver television stations filed with the Federal Communications Commission from Aug. 2 to Nov. 14. Following is a tally of what groups contracted for ads, the cost, the number of spots contracted and the average price per spot.

Political Ads Over… But is it better?

KMGH nightly news program is back to its normal ad schedule. No more Mitt Romney’s garbage man. No more hidden camera references to the infamous 47 percent. 

But is it really better now? We are still subjected to the same type of persuasion, both positive and negative, that we were during the election season. 

"Crest helps kill bacteria five times better than Colgate"

"The Toyota Tundra has more towing capacity than the Ford F250 or the Dodge Durango"

We are still bombarded with attempts to persuade us. Not on a candidate, but on a product.

Pick your poison.

—Jordan Wilsted—

(© by Beatriz Domínguez/flickr)
Political ads have all but disappeared from the evening news on Channel 4 the day after the elections. But some of the consumer ads that are now back might have contributed their fair share to political campaigning this season.
Ameristar advertised their slot machines and Black Hawk casino in a total of three spots on this Wednesday night’s news. In Colorado, the casino group spend $40,000 on both Democratic and Republican causes this election cycle.
Ameristar’s political donations in Colorado in the last six years total over $2 million.
- Katharina Buchholz

(© by Beatriz Domínguez/flickr)

Political ads have all but disappeared from the evening news on Channel 4 the day after the elections. But some of the consumer ads that are now back might have contributed their fair share to political campaigning this season.

Ameristar advertised their slot machines and Black Hawk casino in a total of three spots on this Wednesday night’s news. In Colorado, the casino group spend $40,000 on both Democratic and Republican causes this election cycle.

Ameristar’s political donations in Colorado in the last six years total over $2 million.

- Katharina Buchholz

During KUSA’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams on Wednesday, the ads were back to normal. During the half hour broadcast, three ad blocks played. The majority of the ads were of the medicine variety, with Chantix, Restasis, Alka-Seltzer, and Cialis shown. Car commercials, like the Nissan Pathfinder, also played. 
Surprisingly, an ad for “USA Today” aired during the broadcast, flaunting that their sports coverage is new and “fresh.” 
- Zachary Cook

During KUSA’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams on Wednesday, the ads were back to normal. During the half hour broadcast, three ad blocks played. The majority of the ads were of the medicine variety, with Chantix, Restasis, Alka-Seltzer, and Cialis shown. Car commercials, like the Nissan Pathfinder, also played. 

Surprisingly, an ad for “USA Today” aired during the broadcast, flaunting that their sports coverage is new and “fresh.” 

- Zachary Cook

After Halloween there was a stream of new contracts filed Thursday, excluding channel KUNC, which didn’t post any new ad contracts.
Presidential candidate and anti-abortion activist Randall Terry hasn’t been seen much this year. In a new ad contract with the help of Offerman Media Consulting, he spent $11,800 on 10 spots on Fox 31, KDVR. One ad included a 9 p.m. news spot that cost $3,000. His ads ran on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and one on Sunday. Expect more political ads on NFL game days, some costing $11,000 to $18,000. But 7th Congressional Republican candidate Joe Coors also spent $50 for a spot on KUSA between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m.  - apparently going after the early birds.-Elaine Cromie

After Halloween there was a stream of new contracts filed Thursday, excluding channel KUNC, which didn’t post any new ad contracts.

Presidential candidate and anti-abortion activist Randall Terry hasn’t been seen much this year. In a new ad contract with the help of Offerman Media Consulting, he spent $11,800 on 10 spots on Fox 31, KDVR. One ad included a 9 p.m. news spot that cost $3,000. His ads ran on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and one on Sunday.

Expect more political ads on NFL game days, some costing $11,000 to $18,000. But 7th Congressional Republican candidate Joe Coors also spent $50 for a spot on KUSA between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m.  - apparently going after the early birds.

-Elaine Cromie

(© by jaydensonbx/flickr)
Political ad activity in Denver is experiencing a Halloween slump. On Wednesday, only one contract was filled with any of the four major Metro Area stations. The Obama campaign is buying ads worth $50,000 on Fox 31.
Reviewing ads contracts for the upcoming week, the two presidential campaign have distinct strategies. Obama for America is running ads worth more than $2 million. Romney for President ads are only totaling $280,000, but Republican independent interest groups including Restore Our Future, American Crossroads and Priorities USA are dropping an additional $1.8 million in the Denver market.
Democratic outside spending is at roughly $850,000 for the upcoming week.
by Katharina Buchholz
(© by jaydensonbx/flickr)
Political ad activity in Denver is experiencing a Halloween slump. On Wednesday, only one contract was filled with any of the four major Metro Area stations. The Obama campaign is buying ads worth $50,000 on Fox 31.
Reviewing ads contracts for the upcoming week, the two presidential campaign have distinct strategies. Obama for America is running ads worth more than $2 million. Romney for President ads are only totaling $280,000, but Republican independent interest groups including Restore Our Future, American Crossroads and Priorities USA are dropping an additional $1.8 million in the Denver market.
Democratic outside spending is at roughly $850,000 for the upcoming week.
by Katharina Buchholz

KDVR: evening news Tues., Oct. 30

Evening news for KDVR runs from 5 to 6 p.m. and is split into two 30 minute sessions.  From 5 to 5:30 p.m. there were seven political ads.

The first ad was from Crossroads GPS, a pro-Mitt Romney ad talking about a man named David who was diagnosed with cancer and Romney wrote his euology.

Ad No. 2 was an Obama For America ad explaining how Romney will reverse Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision allowing abortion, if he is elected president.

The third ad was a pro-Joe Miklosi ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee criticizing GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s views on women’s rights and saying he is against birth control.

Next was a Priorities USA Action ad about Bain Capital and their lack of care toward their employees and Romney’s involvement with the company.

Restoring our Future had a pro-Romney ad discussing veterans and how Romney will help them if he is elected.

American Crossroads then an attack ad against President Obama illustrating how awful the last four years were.

The final ad was paid for by Obama For America featuring Bill Clinton who supports Obama and his policies.

-Elaine Cromie


About 28 percent of Coloradans have voted early.

As of Oct. 29, the counties most active in early voting were Custer with 39 percent early voters, Arapahoe with 38 percent and Delta with 37 percent. In Fremont County, only 9 percent of registered voters cast their vote early through Monday, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

by Katharina Buchholz

Colorado Democrat Early Voting Map

Map of Colorado counties of early voting Democrats as of Monday, Oct. 29. Click on any county to see data from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. About 30 percent of Colorado’s 1.1 million Democrats have voted early.

-Elaine Cromie

Number of early Republican voters as of Oct. 29

Click on any county to see the number of Republican voters, how many voted early, and the percentage. The darker the color, the higher the percentage. Out of the approximately  1.1 million Republican voters in Colorado, 32 percent have voted early. 

—Zachary Cook