I don’t think money bought the Wisconsin recall vote based on data I’ve looked at after the election. But I do think it’s disgusting to see how much outside influence is possible in any state election, thanks to Citizens United. This post from Desert Dogmeh gives us a graphic illustration of the imbalance we’re looking at in campaign fundraising and spending, and it ain’t pretty.

Desert Dogmeh

I guess this is a thing we’ll just all have to get used to.

Thanks, Supreme Court/Citizens United.

At least we’ll start to have the stats necessary to be able to tell exactly how much cash it takes to buy any given election. (I know,… I know,…. Walker would have probably beaten Barrett anyway. But still….)  On all local, state, and national levels. Kind of get a decent baseline on that.

Thanks again, Supreme Court/Citizens United.

Money Wins the Day in Wisconsin

Does the Money Matter? The Wisconsin Recall Election Says Yes.


Money wins in Wisconsin

94% of candidates with the most money win elections, and this one was no exception. No matter where you stand on the outcome of this election, we can all agree it shouldn’t always be about the cash.

Tell your friends. They’ll agree

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12 thoughts on “

  1. What makes me ill is wondering just where in the hell all that money went? What makes me angry is that millions more are going to be spent in the next few years for a freaking election!! What raises my blood pressure is thinking about where that money could have gone.

    Meanwhile, for the rest of us, we worry about paying our mortgages and pray that price of milk drops…just a bit.

    • Absolutely! We’re told there’s no money in the budget for education, community development, infrastructure projects…yet there’s wads of cash available for buying ads that 99% of Americans ignore these days, anyway. If any of these donors wanted to really affect lasting, positive change in our country, there are far better ways they could use their money to make that happen.

  2. When you win an election after spending $30 plus million & your opponent spent $3 plus million, you better believe money was a factor, a main factor and it absolutely was the reason Walker won & Barrett lost.

    • Money was a factor – a big one – and I think it will play an even bigger role in the remaining elections this year. As for this specific election, I happen to think that Barrett was a weak candidate and that there was not enough of a Democratic ground game (not even due to finances, but due to poor organization and effort for the most part), so I can see how hose things also played a role in Walker’s victory.

  3. Not many weak candidates get 1.2 million votes. He was less than 180k votes behind Walker. Uninformed & ignorant Wisconsin voters and a lack of DNC involvement in this recall election is why it was lost.

    • Seriously. I do hope they have. The way they avoided Wisconsin over the past month, you’d have thought the place was a leper colony.

  4. Well, who’s primarily responsible for this? The voters. While 99.999 % of voters tell you they don’t like outside money and negative politics in general, they almost invariably follow the money with their votes. And what does that money buy? Attacks, smears, negative ads, etc. So voters should stop pretending they find this stuff distasteful, because it continues to work.

    • I think we’re reaching critical mass with political ads, though. Lately, most of them are meant to get media attention more than anything. A particularly weird or obnoxious ad (think Hoekstra’s racist “Chinese girl” ad or Cain’s “smoking guy”) can become news and go viral, but most voters aren’t making their minds up based on those things. Ads are becoming so overwhelming that we tend to dismiss or ignore them. When was the last time you listened to what an ad on TV had to say? When was the last time it changed your opinion about a candidate, even slightly?

      Maybe some ignorant people listen to these things, but chances are they already hate whoever their guy is running against, and whatever distortional bullshit they hear is not causing them to switch sides or anything. And even if ignorant people didn’t have attack ads to watch on TV, they’d still find misinformation and smears by watching Fox, or by listening to Limbaugh and Beck, or by reading WND online.

      I know money is the main element in winning an election these days, but I don’t know if it’s due to ads specifically, or if it’s more to do with paying for an organized, efficient street team and a visible, active presence in the area where you are running.

      • Well you’re asking: does it affect me? No, of course not. Because you and I know political ads are all b.s., from either side. But I consider the Fox News/right wing radio stuff in the same continuum. That money has to be paying for something. It’s the old playbook. Deluge the airwaves with an idea (i.e. Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma and raise the debt) and it gets repeated enough times, it sinks into people’s consciousness, especially your average American who is not a politico. If we’re saying money buys you a “grass roots infrastructure,” that seems counter-intuitive. Especially when the “grass roots” nature of the GOP power structure is funded through huge corporate donors. Ads, get out the vote drives, etc. People follow the money, even though they say they hate it.

      • Yes, definitely there is a whole spectrum of propaganda that gets repeated and spread way beyond the ads, and I do not have any doubt that the big money donors are oiling the wheels of those processes one way or another. The problem Democrats have isn’t really that we don’t have the same money to spend, though. It’s that we don’t have the same willing audience that the GOP has. The money that gets pumped into those misinformation campaigns do work with the types of people that make up the right-wing voter bloc, because there is a fairly homogenous pattern to the shows they watch, the people they listen to and the sources of information they pay attention to. It’s easy to get messaging out to an entire base when that base is guaranteed to be in front of the TV, tuned to the same channel, night after night. It’s like a one-stop shop for conservative viewpoints and they are going there in droves, as they themselves will tell you whenever they crow about Fox News’ ratings.

        Democrats have the challenge of not being able to reach people in the same manner. Many of us watch MSNBC or Current. Many watch other channels as well, from CNN to network news to Comedy Central. Many don’t watch TV at all. We may or may not read certain websites, publications or blogs. We tend to seek out many types of information from many diverse sources. As a result, broadcasting a party line is not an easy task even if Democrats wanted to do it. Then add to the problem a big number of Democratic-leaning members of the demographic who don’t even bother with news at all. They just don’t engage in that way. So how do you equal the power of messaging on the progressive side when we’re all over the place?

        This is why I say the ads are kinda pointless at this stage of the game. The ones who are listening have already been indoctrinated, so to speak, and their minds are already made up. That’s why they’re watching Fox in the first place.

  5. Money was certainly a factor. But it is always good to be honest about everything else. Many of those polled thought the recall was a bad idea, weird but true. Walker, despite his stated intention to break the Unions still received votes from Union members and Union households, go figure.

    There are so many factors that went into Wisconsin. Honestly though, if we don’t focus on November, not just the Presidential race but Congress we are going to have a much worse problem. It is time to really get it together.

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