Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican allies have outspent Democrat Tom Barrett and supportive groups more than 3-1 on TV ad buys during the three months leading up to the June 5 recall election, according to a Hotline On Call analysis.
Walker’s campaign, which has raised a record $25 million+ for the recall campaign, spent over $7 million for TV buys from March 20 through Election Day, according to a source tracking ad buys in the state. In anticipation of the recall, the governor has been on the air since last December, with spots touting his record, including his controversial budget repair bill curbing collective bargaining for public employees. In total, Walker’s campaign has spent over $12 million on recall election campaign ads.
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Barrett entered the race at the end of March, and his fundraising has been dwarfed by Walker, who had months to raise unlimited money due to a state campaign finance law regulating recall elections. But the Democrat doubled his total ad buy last week, going from about $340,000 to about $670,000. And while Republican outside groups made a big early mark, Democratic groups including Greater Wisconsin have also ramped up buys lately, dedicating over a million dollars to airtime in the week leading up to Memorial Day. While Republicans have spent significantly more overall, Democrats are trying to narrow the gap during the closing stage of the campaign.
The Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association have each poured in millions, but the RGA’s spending has roughly doubled that of its Democratic counterpart. Through Right Direction Wisconsin, the RGA has spent over $6 million on the race. The DGA has spent over $3 million via Greater Wisconsin, on TV and other outreach. The RGA has a lot more money to spend; it outraised the DGA more than 2-1 in 2011.
Labor has been an active presence in the race, but not all of its money has been directly aimed at Walker. During the primary, public sector unions largely lined up behind the candidacy of Kathleen Falk, who lost to Barrett. A labor-heavy pro-Falk group spent over $4 million during the Democratic primary.
Read More at nationaljournal.com. By Sean Sullivan.