The recall race for governor set new records for campaign spending in Wisconsin. A report from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign estimates spending from candidates, special interest groups, and political committees on the June 5th recall election came close to $81 million. The total shattered the previous record set during the 2010 race for governor, where about $37 million was spent.
McCabe says the driving force behind much of the record recall spending was the intense national interest in the race. Wealthy donors, union groups, and major corporations focused massive resources on the campaigns, which McCabe says was likely because many saw the outcome as a national referendum on the collective bargaining issue.
The report notes Governor Walker had a major fundraising advantage over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. McCabe says Republicans outspent Democrats by about two-and-a-half to one. Walker and Republican groups spent about $58.7 million on the recall, while Barrett and Democrats spent about $22 million.
In the 15 recall elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, and state Senate seats over the past year, about $137.5 million has been spent by candidates and their supporters.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:03)