Democrats have money edge in legislative racesDemocrats have an early campaign fundraising edge over Republicans in some of the key battles for control of the Wisconsin state legislature.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Democrats have an early campaign fundraising edge over Republicans in some of the key battles for control of the Wisconsin state legislature.
Campaign finance reports for the first half of this year show Democrats raised considerably more than Republicans in the committees lawmakers from both parties use to help finance competitive races. On the Senate side, Democrats raised $166,000 to Republicans' $54,000. They also had more than three times as much cash on hand. Democrats outraised Republicans by an even larger margin in the Assembly campaign committees, although Republicans still had more money left in the bank.
Democratic candidates were also either ahead or nearly tied in fundraising for several key Senate districts. State Democratic Party chair Mike Tate says it shows Democrats are poised to do well, and Republicans have failed to raise the money they need to compete. He questions how Republicans “can continue to say this is going to be a good election cycle for them when they fundamentally do not have the resources you need to compete and to win an election."
State GOP Chair Mark Jefferson says that the Republican legislative campaign committees are on budget and money won't be a problem for them. In some of the individual races, he says it's not surprising that Democrats are ahead--incumbents usually enjoy a fundraising edge.
Jefferson says the state GOP has focused this year on recruiting candidates all over the state. He says “Democrats are going to have to try and point to something to show that they're still in the race here. But the candidates that we've recruited here in this race are really superior this time around."
These committees are just one measure of a campaign's financial health. Outside interest groups could also spend millions this November and that money is harder to track