(CNN) – The national spotlight will continue to shine on Wisconsin this week with additional national political figures taking to the Badger State to support their nominees in the gubernatorial recall election.
Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will stump for incumbent Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz visit the state Wednesday on behalf of Walker challenger and Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Walker and Barrett will face-off in a June 5 election, the culmination of a two year fight over collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Both parties have cast the debate as a larger referendum on the role of government and polices supported by both parties.
Recent polling suggests Walker holds an advantage over Barrett, following months of funds channeled into the state from national groups and a consistent barrage of advertising.
The Republican Party and conservative groups have spent approximately $8.6 million to run commercials in the state, 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. Democratic Party groups have spent over $5 million in the lead up to Election Day.
Walker has welcomed a consistent influx of national Republicans, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, to the state as part of a largely unified GOP effort in the general election battleground.
Democrats insist they too are focusing on the race as evidenced by their ground operations. On Tuesday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, announced it raised an additional $100,000 for then Wisconsin Democratic Party's field operations
Although Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she thinks Barrett has a "real opportunity" to oust Walker, she characterized the recall as a "test run" following new polling that shows President Barack Obama ahead of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
"It's given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run we need of our massive, significant dynamic grassroots presidential campaign," the Florida representative said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
The candidates sparred Saturday in their first debate in the race with Barrett attempting to paint Walker as a divisive "rock star" in the tea party movement who tore the state apart on behalf of his national political ambitions. Walker framed his decision as necessary to restore the state's fiscal well-being.
Republicans maintain the 2011 bill was necessary to close the budget shortfall and control the skyrocketing costs of public employee benefits, while Democrats argue it was an attempt to gut public-sector labor unions, one of their core constituencies.