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Colorado is Nation’s Political Ad Hotspot

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Mitt Romney Campaigns In Colorado

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Colorado gained the title of “swing state” many election cycles ago. Voters here have become accustomed to the bright light of the national spotlight shining upon them every two years.

However, among other swing states, Colorado is not usually the most high profile state with that status. With only nine electoral votes, Colorado usually lags in attention behind other larger swing states like Florida and Ohio.

But right now, if any Colorado voters are feeling like they are not as important as swing voters in other time zones, they can relax, because this week, Colorado is the center of the political advertisement universe.

It’s nice to be number one, but this is one status that Colorado may want to shed.

For the week of July 9th-15th, three of the top four markets featuring the most televised political ads are in Colorado. Colorado Springs is in the top spot for the second week in a row, with Grand Junction grabbing the number two spot, and Denver getting the number four position.

Even among bigger swing states, this week, Colorado is number one.

Allison Sherry’s blog at The Denver Post offers some very logical reasons for why this is happening, including the prices of advertising in Colorado and the reach of our three major TV markets.

Those reasons make a lot of sense, but I have a different point of view of why this is happening.

Of course Colorado voters are important to both candidates, but I believe Colorado is being barraged by so many ads right now not only because of recent visits from both candidates, but also because Colorado will help set a polling trend. Essentially, this mid-summer barrage of ads may be the equivalent to both campaigns hoping to land a serious haymaker, even a knockout punch in the Centennial State.

If polling in Colorado can begin to show significant separation between the candidates, that separation, even in July or August, can help dry up local fundraising and even motivate a campaign to pull up its stakes to spend its important financial resources elsewhere.

Now, I am not here to say that landing this knockout punch is easy, but if it were to happen, a key swing state would be taken off the table very early. It’s a gamble that is worth taking.

But since this knockout blow is not likely, the more realistic scenario of a continued stalemate should force each campaign to scale back their Colorado campaigns a bit and spend more money in bigger markets.

Colorado voters will still get their fair share of attention from political campaigns, but for this level of attention to continue through November, Colorado would need to become the very epicenter of one of the tightest Presidential races in history.

We’re not that unlucky, are we?

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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