Polls and ad spending tight in Colorado and Iowa
July 10th, 2012
11:52 AM ET
2 years ago

Polls and ad spending tight in Colorado and Iowa

(CNN) - President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are both campaigning Tuesday in crucial battleground states. Call it a taste of things to come - an appetizer for the main course in September and October with the general election scramble.

The president holds a roundtable with a family in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, followed by a speech at a nearby community college. Romney's in Grand Junction, Colorado, holding a town hall in Grand Junction. Both states are in the center divide along each campaign's highway to 270, the number of electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency. For each candidate, winning the state they are visiting Tuesday would be a major bonus in their electoral game plans.

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George W. Bush won both states in his 2004 re-election victory over Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee. But four years later Obama took both states in his White House victory over Sen. John McCain, winning Colorado by nine points and carrying Iowa by ten points.

The most recent polls indicate that it's basically all knotted up in both states. An NBC News-Marist survey conducted in late May in Colorado at Obama at 46% and Romney at 45%, with 8% unsure. An NBC News-Marist poll conducted the same period in Iowa indicated the race deadlocked at 44%, with one in ten undecided.

Both states are seeing a flood of campaign commercials on the airwaves. Nearly $9 million has been spent to run ads in Colorado. The Obama campaign has outspent the Romney campaign by a $4.2 million to $1.7 million margin, but when independent advocacy group ad spending is factored in, the number are a bit closer, with nearly $5.6 million in ad spending on the Democratic side and nearly $3.4 million spent on the Republican side.

The figures come from data provided to their clients by Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending on broadcast TV and national cable. The data covers the period from April 10 through May 24. April 10 is the day former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania suspended his presidential campaign. Santorum was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's main rival for the Republican presidential nomination, and when he left the race, Romney became the presumptive GOP nominee.

In Iowa, just over $9.2 million has been shelled out by both sides to run spots. The Obama campaign has outspent the Romney campaign by a more than two to one margin, but when the independent groups are factored in, total ad spending by the Republican side comes to $5.4 million, more than a million and a half dollars than the Democratic side has spent to put up commercials.

"It's basically yin-yang, which is catchy for short-term purposes, but more significant is that once again, as in 2008, Democrats must be looking at data showing, at least for now, that Colorado is more of a reach for them and Iowa considerably less so," CMAG Vice President Elizabeth Wilner tells CNN.

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Filed under: Colorado • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    If these guys have brain, they never vote any rethuglicans....obama12.

    July 10, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    These polls just show that there is nothing changing. For all the money that is being spent by the Super PACs, the Romney campaign and their corporate masters, you'd think Romney would be so far ahead... It is possible that it is Iowa 2008 GOP primary again (remember that Romney spent gobs of money only to lose to Huckabee who didn't).

    July 10, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Anyone want to guess where most of the political advertising revenue really ends up?

    Follow up bonus question; why is the MSM so balatantly concerned with manufacturing a false equivalency on every issue and between the two parties?

    July 10, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. pabloinbama

    obama is running scared. Romney 2012!

    July 10, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. CoJo

    remember the GOP had 11 years to fix the health care system or at least make major improvements, but they did nothing. Absolutely nothing!!. I game to change my mind AFTER they come up with their plan. But they have already publicly stated, if they come with anything it will be a looong time coming.
    Even Marco Rubio stated (yesterday) that the health care system has been broken for a long time. Where is his solution?
    obviously there are things about obamacare that people like. Why did it take obamacare to get health insurance to improve? Why didn't GOP come up with those ideas long ago? If GOP had done their jobs some time during the past 11 years, maybe we would NOT have need obamacare. Nor would we have had a financial meltdown either.... Remember, it was Trump that said the Bush's time gave us Obama...GOP did not earn their big bucks

    it is a place to start. Even the GOP acknowledges the system has been broken for a long time. They put nothing forward to improvement the system. Just like the republicans forced a federal mandate on the states with NCLB, which was also poorly implemented and very costly, but everyone does agree, the idea is good and they are going to work on what parts didn't work. I'm game to change my mind after the GOP does their job and come put forth a better plan (even a non-mandated plan) but I highly doubt the GOP has the nerve to do something even Hillary attempted years ago. Yes she failed, but she tried. GOP has not even tried (good leaders try).

    July 10, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. CoJo

    remember, current congress has not done (or even proposed) solutions. They're single focus is to make obama look back anyway and every they can. In one way I hope Romney does win, as within 6-9 months I'd be peppering the internet about how republicans have made is worse. Remember, they currently state the country cannot afford to increase spending on anything, but yet we already know they will significantly increase military funds. For what reason? Most americans want out the middle east (but the GOP will of course ignore that part). As for health care... assuming they do repeal obamacare, we will be back to health care under Bush's time. We have already heard the GOP agreed the health care system has been broken for years.Yet the GOP did nothing under a republican president and refused to do anything under a democrat president. They did nothing for 11 years (and you wonder where they get the "Do nothing congress" name?). As for religion, Romney and Santorum will push and force people to live their beliefs. Their religious beliefs are the only REAL beliefs. All others are just plain wrong. They cannot do what JFK did and state that their beliefs are their owns period. They will not force their religious beliefs on anyone else. GOP will not make commitment. GOP also feel is American's right to police the world period.

    July 10, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Peter Wendler

    As an Iowan, I can tell you that Romney has a real chance here. The state is more opposed to Obamacare than most and Romney has made inroads in more reliable Democratic areas of the state (Eastern Iowa and Polk County.) Either way, I'm guessing within 1%.

    July 10, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Republican bafoon party and romney the clown have no chance in Nov ,we want romney care and obamacare ,we just don't want romney the clown .where are the disk drives from mass ????where are your tax returns ????

    July 10, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Matt

    the election is not gonna be that close. 08 was gonna be a nail bitter, but Obama won easy. who conducts these polls, cnn, NBC etc. the companies that have a lot to profit from a close race from advertisers and political commercials. also, polls are conducted by phone to listed land lines, when millions, mainly poorer and Lower middle class only have cell phones, and these voters generally vote democratic. there will be a lot of hype, but we'll all be in bed by 9 on election nite with the same prez

    July 10, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Ancient Texan

    Polls are meaningless at this stage of the campaign, especially since so many are MSM run biased liberal. Also, Carter was far ahead of Reagan in the polls and lost in a landslide.

    July 10, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Lemone

    Robme is the biggest joke that the RNC has ever had!

    July 10, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. james

    A man who is being cast as "hiding something" would do everything he can to prove that....were waiting...Oh ! tax returns please.

    July 10, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. CJC2010

    Pay no attention to the Millions, or is it Billions, behind the curtain. If Toto doesn't drag his finances into the public eye we will never see them. When the voters see how little he has paid in taxes and how far he has stretched the law holding their nose while they vote won't be adequate. A barf bag will be required.

    July 10, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Paul Williamson

    This guy looks and sounds like a crook. "I don't know anything about that" why does he have a blind trust if he is not in office? He should release the last 20 years of returns, including while he ran Bain Capital, and I bet you will find plenty of evidence of tax evasion, including some years when he paid zero taxes...his personal behavior and character have a direct impact on hos qualifications for the Presidency, and all he shown so far is help the rich pay a lot less taxes, reduce regulations, and let the robber barons and greedy corporations run roughshod over the rest of us.

    July 10, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Ken

    I don't know that Romney has that much of a chance in CO any more... it was not fortuitous for him that we were having wildfires in both conservative and liberal conclaves when he made his infamous "he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people." At a time when CO was battling wildfires with thousands of firefighters barely making 12 bucks an hour with no health insurance, Romney's big conservative idea was to fire them... he walked it back the next day, but there are still plenty of pictures floating around the internet of the massive wildfires juxtaposed with his quote.... he drove up his own negatives and that whole "out of touch" narrative far too much to be viable here.

    July 10, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |