Colorado attack ads breaking records

By: Rob Hughes Email
By: Rob Hughes Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO)-- Big bucks being spent to try and influence your vote.

Try to add up the spending, and your head will start to spin. At the four top Denver television stations in a two month period, more than $35 million was spent, according to information filed with the Federal Communication Commission, or FCC.

A recent study shows that here in Grand Junction, 70 percent of the ads are negative. We spoke with both sides and voters to see if these ads are really making a difference in this historic election.

"I don't like it. It makes me feel that DC is totally corrupt," said Heath Houseman, a local voter.

Houseman is sick of the political attack ads bombarding his television.

"Congress is a mess, and it makes me have less confidence in them," said Houseman, who is from Canada.

His parents were born and raised in a fascist state in South Africa under apartheid.

"They wanted to get away from that, so when they start seeing things heading in that direction-- to where the government is misleading people, and you see those negative ads-- it's disappointing for them," added Houseman.

According the FCC, from Aug. 2 to Oct. 23, Obama for America spent nearly $9.1 million for 10,000 spots, Romney for President spent nearly $5 million for 4,200 spots.

"I really don't like the ones that are negative; they make me lose faith in the political process," said Gigi Robinson, another local voter.

Robinson believes ads can be informative for voters.

"Where they tell us what their positions are, and what they hope to accomplish," said Robinson.

Experts say super political action committee (PAC)'s limitless fundraising has caused a significant spike in the number of television ads this election.

"Negative ads are very disconcerting, especially when they're made up of things that aren't true. I think sometimes those tend to backfire once the truth comes out," said Ruth Ehlers, Chair of the Mesa County Republicans.

The candidates themselves have no direct say on how a super PAC spends it's money.

"I think they help the least when they're not from the candidate themselves; people are getting pretty savvy to see who does it end with this message by the candidate, and if it doesn't say that I think people actually discount it a lot, or hold it against the candidate they're advocating for," said Karl Castleton, Co-Chair of the Mesa County Democrats.

And while we can't stop the attack ads, we can be educated and informed voters.

"I research it online. I get the truth for myself," said Houseman.

Political experts say in most cases, political advertising isn't enough to make people vote across party lines. They also say attack ads may even keep undecided voters away from the polls.

In a poll out Monday by the American Research Group, Governor Romney leads President Obama 48 percent to 47 percent in Colorado.

The study also says between Sept. 9 to 30, 4,661 ads aired in Grand Junction.

For more information on the study and how much other PAC's are spending, visit the related link below.


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