Money Well Spent? The Five Races with the Most PAC Money

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3. Wisconsin Senate
Rep. Tammy Baldwin vs. Tommy Thompson

$21.6 million vs. $18.3 million = $39.9 million logged so far *
Most outside money supported Baldwin, the Democratic candidate
Did money = victory? Yes.

Left: Former Governor Tommy Thompson (R) greets supporters with tears in his eyes after conceding the election Tuesday in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Right: Representative Tammy Baldwin (D), waves to supporters after making her a victory speech in Madison, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Wisconsin Democratic representative Tammy Baldwin won an open Senate seat last night in Paul Ryan’s home state, and became the first openly gay woman elected to the Senate. She defeated Republican Tommy Thompson, who spent 14 years as the state’s governor, then became President Bush’s health secretary. Thompson received over $18 million from outside groups, and Baldwin received over $23 million. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee were the two biggest contributors, followed by the Democratic Majority PAC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

*Totals for Wisconsin do not include three Republican candidates defeated in the GOP primary.

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  • Aaron Rosier

    something is wrong here… i think,
    so Rmoneys total is $118.5 + $329 = $447 million (but where does the $336 million go?)
    and Obama(tm)’s is $540 + $182 + X = $142 million ??

    could someone clarify this for me? because right now, the numbers look a bit jarbled

  • Anonymous

    directly raised vs super pac.

  • Legacy

    David beat the rich Goliath. One should never forget the strength of the american people.

  • Emlyn Addison

    The Obama and Romney campaigns should donate all of their surplus election funds to hurricane Sandy relief. Do the right thing and enough with all this silliness.

  • Laurel Stuart

    Alan West Republican Incumb. 17 million, Challenger Patrick Murphy 4 million. Winner — Patrick Murphy, Officially as of this a.m.

  • Pat

    The numbers at the top are outside money. The amounts raised and spent directly by the candidate’s campaigns, mentioned in the explanation, are not “outside money” – the point of the article being about the influence of “outside money”, not total spending.

  • Howard Owen

    So perhaps Citizens United isn’t such a disaster after all? I think message matters more than money. Apparently elections aren’t just media driven shouting matches.

  • Sarah Mahoney Matteson

    In these 5 races ALONE 711.6 million dollars was spent purely to get a candidate elected. our elected officials spend this kind of cash to self promote. What if they took that money and invested it in Education? Veterans? Small business?

  • Happycat

    If you believe this than hopefully you voted for the candidate who truly has concern for all of those issue.

  • Phoenixchick

    I don’t know if one can definitively state that the money was a/the factor for the winning candidates. Perhaps they would have won without. All we can say is that it did not help the losing candidate sufficiently. I am glad that the victors above won. Are there any Republican candidates who did win who got outside money? What were the poll numbers for these candidates before the large infusions of cash?

  • Alma Morgan

    I am glad Murdoch is not from our state Ohio. We have a good one in Sherrod Brown.

  • Alma Morgan

    I am glad Sherrod Brown. He is a good man.

  • Alma Morgan

    I am glad he won.

  • Alma Morgan

    Good for Timothy Kaine.

  • Alma Morgan

    Unbelievable. That’s a lot of money to spend to get your own way.

  • Kathryn

    People — get your sling shots. The giant is dumber than we thought!

  • ward riggins

    What Sarah M. Matteson said. How is this ignored by everyone! This is not democracy in action. Why can’t we fix this?