GOP outspends Dems to run ads in Wisconsin recall
May 28th, 2012
10:52 AM ET
3 years ago

GOP outspends Dems to run ads in Wisconsin recall

(CNN) - If Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wins next week's recall election, the big bucks the Republican governor and his allies have spent to run TV commercials will be a contributing factor.

And the ad wars over the recall contest may give Wisconsin a dubious honor this election year.

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Walker, Republican Party committees, independent tea party groups and other grassroots fiscal conservative organizations have spent around $8.65 million to run ads in the recall campaign, from November through last week, according to data from Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a company that tracks and estimates the costs of campaign ads running on the air.

That's a considerable amount more than the $5.10 million that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker's Democratic challenger, Democratic Party committees and independent progressive groups have spent to run commercials.

In the two week period from May 10 through May 23, Walker and his supporters shelled out around $2.5 million to run ads, including nearly $1.1 million from the governor's campaign, while Barrett's campaign has spent just under $650,000, with the total pro-Barrett spending at around $1.1 million.

"There is intense amount of advertising in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race that is chasing a minute amount of undecided voters. Attitudes are polarized and hardened in the Badger State, but with the contest so close, candidates and their allies have no choice but to go 'all in'. That said, there probably are not a lot of moveable voters at this point," Kenneth Goldstein, CNN's consultant on TV advertising and Kantar Media/CMAG president, said.

Wisconsin voters will cast ballots on June 5th to decide whether to remove Walker from office following last year's bitter battle over his push to limit the collective bargaining rights of state public employee unions.

Walker holds a single digit advantage over Barrett in the two most recent independent polls. According to a St. Norbert College/Wisconsin Public Radio survey released Thursday, 50% of people likely to vote in the June 5th recall election said they supported Walker, the first-term governor, with 45% backing Barrett, who won his party's primary earlier this month, setting up a rematch with Walker from the 2010 election that the Republican won by five points.

A Reason-Rupe poll, also released Thursday, indicated that Walker had a 50% to 42% advantage over Barrett, with 6% unsure.

While the millions spent on ad buys in the recall effort is a lot of money, it's just part of a larger pile of cash being spent to run political ads in Wisconsin this year.

"This advertising campaign in the governor recall contest is actually just a small fraction of what Wisconsin residents have seen and will see this year," said Goldstein, who's also a longtime professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Advertising in the GOP primary for president, recall election primary, and this already – and then Republican Senate primary and competitive races for U.S. Senate and president in the fall. Wisconsin is on track to have the largest number of political ads ever aired in a state."

Also see:

Gingrich's presidential advice: Raise money

Wisconsin recall's a 'test run,' DNC chair says

Giuliani gets over ego and praises Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Scott Walker • Tom Barrett • Wisconsin
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. ruemorgue

    Courtesy of the Supreme Court - we are closer to being a Plutocracy than ever before.

    May 28, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Aside from everything else that has been said and done.....when Walker became govenor....he turned his back on his promises to the people of Wisconsin and with the help of big money {the Koch bros,} starting making major changes in the states government... The voters rebelled and have been fighting to get their state back. We can only wish them luck and pray that they can get rid of one who lies for his own benefit!

    May 28, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Bristol

    I don't know how anyone who values the country over polical party could vote for Walker. The prank phone call where he interupts his day to take a call from the Koch brothers tells you all you need to know about him. Do you think you could get the governor to take, or even return, your phone call? If you vote for him, you're part of the problem in the US political system.

    May 28, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. HendersonNV

    Now let us add the money spent on the initial RECALL effort, then compare money spent for this election

    May 28, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Jake

    All you "left-leaning" people taking a swing at Walker because he spends more than Barrett – take a look at the presidential election. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent. It's politics as usual in America and the two party system needs to be dismantled.

    May 28, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What I don't understand about all the money that has been spent in Wisconsin, why hasn't there been any money spent for job development instead of spending it on one man to keep his job when Wisconsin has the worst job lost in the country.

    May 28, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Jean Sartre

    As a lifelong WI resident I have to tell all of you that Walker is a TAKE AWAY RIGHTS governor.

    [The abbreviation for the state of Wisconsin is WI – forty years ago it was WISC!]

    He took away the LEGAL RIGHT of Public Employers to bargain.

    He took away the LEGAL RIGHT for employees to sue businesses for wage discrimination and receive Compensatory and Punitive damages.

    He took away the LEGAL RIGHT to sue for damages/harm across the board, [Tort Reform] by now limiting damages to $200,000; the previous CAP on damages did not have any limit.

    I could go on, as we all know, he is actively working on making WI a “Right to Work State.” What a strange, convoluted name for a law that allows employers to pay you whatever they want and treat you as their own, personal servant…

    Walker has been great for business: He has allowed them to prosper and grow their obscene profits and greed by enacting laws that prevent individuals from holding business accountable for their actions and by preventing individuals from even entering the State Court System to sue for equal pay, equal rights and equal treatment, under the law.

    Walker’s and the Republican’s WI: limit the workers access to courts, limit their rights across the board and allow businesses, corporations, banks, the broadest freedom possible to do whatever they want…

    May 28, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. nolimits3333

    Walker is the only governor in the country with a criminal defense fund.

    May 28, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. nolimits3333

    Two of Walker's aides have already been charged with felonies, but Walker won't release his emails with them.

    What is he hiding?

    May 28, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. B

    According to th Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Badger State is ranked dead last out of 50 states for job creation under
    Governor Walker. The campaign slogan of the GOP in 2010 was "jobs, jobs, jobs". And, Walker is the only governor in the entire United States of America who has a criminal defense fund.

    May 28, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Big Zim

    TRENDING: GOP outspends Dems to run ads in Wisconsin recall.

    And some how this is a BAD thing? I don't get it???

    May 28, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. hammer

    CNN and the left thinks people are stupid.CNN how much money did the left spend on getting the recall.If you don't want to be bias cover both.There was to much money spend by both sides on this crap.And it was for one group of people the union workers.Theres more none union worker.What is this recall doing for them?NOTHING

    May 28, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. The Truth Teller

    I might add to the conversation ...... We are the Government , Regardless of which side has the most money it is us that must take back control of our state houses , our county . and last but not lease our cities ! Having said that now I wish to speak to the people of Wisconsin !!!! If this Mr. Scot Walker wins , the only people that you can blame is " Yourselves " ! And then I don't want to hear any crying of after the fact ! You get what type of Government that you " Vote " for ! Just like the states that voted for the Pub party ! You can't blame " Obama " for the state of the economy after you put the house in the hands of the " Tea/Pub " party as we all know who control's the " CHECK BOOK " and "CREDIT CARDS " of the Federal Government and you expect the Dems and Obama to help stop the " Tea/Pub " party from taking your medi-care your UN-employment insurance , your tax breaks for the middle class and give the "Tax Breaks to the wealthy " who don't act like a true American ! As far as there concern you could just eat " DIRT " You get what you vote for people !

    May 28, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. RON Scrawl

    It is too bad no one seen the Debate between Walker and Barrett last week.
    Walker got manhandled and didnt answer a single question posed to him By Barret

    There is another debate this Thursday
    And again
    No one is going to see it
    Walker is a liar, a Con and a Idealogue of the Tea Party

    May 28, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    "union members get to retire early, get obscene pensions, and lifelong medical benefits for their families"? Oh for minute I thought he was talking about congress...

    May 28, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. RON Scrawl

    Hey Truthteller

    No one voted on What Walker Promised
    Because if he had run on what he did

    he would of lost the general election

    May 28, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    What's wrong with the excesses of money?!?! How about the fact that much of it comes from outside the state!! And the pinheads that donate don't have to live with the consequences. THAT'S what's "wrong" with it. Stay out of OUR elections!!

    May 28, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Matt Vraspir

    Hahaha, doesn't matter. While the GOP has a hundreds people giving millions of dollars, the people of Wisconsin have millions of people giving hundreds of dollars. I stand with Wisconsin.

    May 28, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Angel

    Waukesha County's clerk in accordance with the Koch brothers will pad the election results in favor of republicans. Thus, giving Scott Walker a victory.

    May 28, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Georgia Sanity

    I gave money to Walker. What the Dems are doing in Wisconsin is embarrassing.

    May 28, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. junkfee

    Liberals picked a fight with the bear, and the bear is winning.

    Should've left the bear alone

    May 28, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    "All you "left-leaning" people taking a swing at Walker because he spends more than Barrett – take a look at the presidential election. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent. It's politics as usual in America and the two party system needs to be dismantled."

    What makes you assume us "left-leaning people" haven't been opposing "politics as usual"? I know I have; for a very long time.

    May 28, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Georgia Sanity

    With the ultra-radical left in WI, I can see why a governor would need a legal defense fund. And every other kind of fund. Obama promised "hope and change" almost four years ago and has done nothing. Shouldn't we be recalling him too?

    May 28, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Spike2014

    Yeah it sure would be a pity if Walker gets reelected and Wisconsin maintains its fiscally responsible posture. Shame on the governor for bringing the state out of the union-controlled quagmire it was in. I say elect pro union politicians–then Wisconsin can go ahead and add the hammer and sickle to the state flag!

    May 28, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Sanity

    Amusing to read comments from liberals who think that corporations should not be allowed to make political contributions with private money, but who seems fine with public unions making contributions with money that came from taxpayers. The latter is the real offense and should be stopped.

    May 28, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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