Money is flowing into Wisconsin at unprecedented rates, with nearly $62 million spent thus far in the gubernatorial recall race, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group reported Thursday.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has spent more than Democratic opponent Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and special-interest groups combined, with $29.3 million of his $30.5 million war chest spent thus far. Barrett won a May 8 primary election, setting the stage for a Tuesday.
The new numbers released by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign show total spending is nearly double the record for a statewide race of $37.4 million set during the 2010 gubernatorial race - also between Walker and Barrett.
Of the $29 million, Walker has spent $5.8 million, including $4.8 million from individual donors and just more than $300,000 from political action committees, since April 24. Of Walker’s itemized individual contributions, 70 percent came from outside the state, the group says.
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Meanwhile, Democratic candidates have spent roughly $4 million, with Barrett accounting for $2.9 million of the total. Barrett has raised $3.1 million from April 24 to May 21 — $3.94 since entering the race in March — including nearly $2.6 million from individuals and $508,000 from political action committees.
Of his itemized contributions in this latest reporting period, 30 percent came from outside Wisconsin. He has collected about $3.4 million from individuals, with 74 percent coming from Wisconsin residents and 26 percent from out of state.
Outside interest groups reported spending $21.5 million on the race and so-called issue ad groups that do not disclose their spending have dumped at least another $7.5 million into the election.
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says overall spending has been lopsided in favor of the Republicans, with somewhere between a 2-to-1 and 3-to-1 edge.