We study electronic and optical properties of the low-bandgap co-polymer PCPDT-BT (poly-cyclopentadithiophene-co-benzothiadiazole) and compare it with the corresponding homo-polymer PCPDT (poly-cyclopentadithiophene). We investigate the linear absorptivity in these systems for neutral molecules and for their singly charged ions based on quantum-chemical calculations and experiments. One of our main findings is that the ions of the homo-polymer show a polaron absorption that is symmetric between anion and cation, whereas for polaron excitations in the co-polymer this symmetry is strongly lifted. We demonstrate that this asymmetry can be attributed to the absence of symmetry between the high-lying occupied and low-lying unoccupied molecular orbitals in the co-polymer with type-II orbital alignment between the moieties constituting the chain. This notion is of importance for the qualitative and quantitative interpretation of spectroscopic polaron data and is not specific to the system studied here but similarly applies to other co-polymers.