Governor Scott Walker (R) trounced his recall election challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by seven percentage points. Political pundits have tried to blame Barrett’s loss on a whole host of issues: unions are getting weaker, Obama should have intervened on Barrett’s side earlier, Walker is just a better candidate. However, the biggest thing we can take away from last night’s results is this: Big Money can determine elections.

Both sides and outside groups spent at least $63.5 million on this particular election making it the most expensive in Wisconsin history. But the fundraising and spending was overwhelmingly one-sided.  Walker raised $30.5 million to fight off the recall, compared to the $3.9 million raised by Barrett. Two-thirds of Walker’s donations came from outside Wisconsin, while one-fourth of Barrett’s were from out of state. Outside groups also poured millions of dollars into independent efforts to influence the outcome — of the $22 million spent by independent expenditure groups on the election, $16.3 million went to support Walker. All in all, Barrett stood little chance facing Walker’s fundraising machine.

So what’s the big takeaway when it comes to that other election…you know, the one in November? Ad buys count.

 

Filed under: Elections

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  • Daswann14

    great article/ visual aid!

  • Keith

    Just goes to show the extent to which money pervades the political process and muffles the voice of the people. Many Republicans, including Mitt Romney, hailed Walker’s victory as evidence that Walker’s policies were successful and that people were pleased with Walker’s political performance. But if Walker’s policies were so successful and if people were so pleased with Walker, then why the recall? The power wealth has in determining elections is both sickening and disheartening.

  • typical

    Most of all, so sad that people’s brains, common sense and humanity can be bought. It’s our own fault for being so short-sighted, selfish, and ignorant. I feel alienated as a Wisconsinite.

  • hegesias

    Campaign and election reform is what we need more than anything else including “jobs.”

  • Yogiobear

    This result of this election is indicative of the substandard education in America. Not just Wisconsin, but all over America, resources for education are being ripped away by psychopaths like Karl Rove because they know the more ignorant we are, the more we can’t see passed the nose on our own face. We can’t even get our own self interest right. People need to be taught to think for themselves

    • theantispanos

      Sadly, I think more Americans think of Fox & Friends as higher education.

  • Allinecropps

    i can not belive people vote in the very thing they are against, what jerks, let the american people keep on voting this way, and we will have a nice fat dictator running all of use

  • CatKinNY

    What were Badgers thinking? On one hand, they let Walker retain his seat (with nearly 40% of union households voting for him!?!?); on the other, they took away his Republican majority in the state senate. I get the anger of tax payers nation wide over public sector unions and their sweetheart deals re pensions and healthcare benefits; what I don’t get is that it seems to be largely aimed at public school teachers rather than the cops and firefighters who are the real abusers. In my state, they are allowed to rack up a lot of overtime in the last few years on the job, greatly inflating the salaries on which they then retire; this is abusive as hell and needs to stop – but school teachers can’t do this. Even in other states that don’t allow such flagrant theft from taxpayers, pretty much everyone allows them to retire after 20 years no matter what their age with a full boat package – again, school teachers can’t do this. Even with the downward trend in middle class pay over the last 35 years, public sector employees still earn less than their private sector counterparts; in exchange, they were always supposed to get more on the back end. What kind of people will we be attracting down the road to teach our kids, police our communities and staff our public hospitals if we take away the big reward? When will Americans realize that all those tax cuts have to be paid for somehow, and when will they see that the wealthy have reduced the rest of us to a giant pot of crabs, where the few who are trying to climb out get pulled back by those sitting in the bottom?

  • Midnightsun

    uh oh! and most people think they can’t be bought

  • Sunpear 007

    Money apparently rules. big surprise. its a shame that the common voter can’t see thru the flurry of political advertising.
    Land of the free and home of the big money

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