June 6, 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: How Scott Walker Bought The Big Cheese

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.