#DoYouRecall the Left Asked For This Fight
Democrats repeatedly insisted going into the Wisconsin recall election that incumbent governor Scott Walker had some kind of unassailable advantage. This rhetoric was consistent from low-level local officials in the state all the way up through former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who insisted, “The advantage probably goes to Walker because he’s got so much money. A lot of money’s coming from out of state, including some from the unions to support Barrett, but not nearly as much as Walker has received. It’s going to be a close and interesting race.”
Ah yes, the old “money buys elections” trope. If that is true, then why do self-funded candidates almost always lose?
It is true that the left did spend plenty of money on the recall effort, they just didn’t get too much bang for their buck. Thomas Grier estimates that, “In their attempt to take back the Wisconsin Senate, Democrats and their backers spent $23.4 million, with outside groups spending $18.6 million against Republicans.” So basically, the Democrats still spent tens of millions of dollars on this election, but only got one state Senate seat out of the deal. Obviously, there is more to it than just throwing money into the airwaves and seeking what sticks: something about the left’s strategy was just remarkably inefficient.
Moreover, this wasn’t a regularly scheduled election that had to happen. Scott Walker was recalled. The left asked for this fight when they turned in over a million petition signatures to force an election. The occurrence of the election wasn’t an accident. Complaining now that they lost because Scott Walker’s campaign spending is ridiculous. Neither Walker nor Barrett would have been doing any campaign spending if the unions hadn’t forced an election.