Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scott Walker didn't buy the election

Now that the votes have been counted and the effort to remove Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a dismal failure, I'm seeing an excuse by union supporters that Walker bought the election by raising nearly eight times as much campaign money as opponent Tom Barrett.

People come with all sorts of excuses when things don't go their way to avoid coming to terms with an uncomfortable truth. Walker was able to get the vote of 38 percent of union households, and 18 percent of his voters told exit pollsters they plan to vote for Barack Obama in the presidential race. Clearly, Walker was about to draw votes from the left to win. Does that mean those supporters were brainwashed with political ads.

Steve Levitt presents a much different explanation to why elections favor the big spenders. The candidates that attract donors tend to already have better odds of winning

When a candidate doubled their spending, holding everything else constant, they only got an extra one percent of the popular vote. It’s the same if you cut your spending in half, you only lose one percent of the popular vote. So we’re talking about really large swings in campaign spending with almost trivial changes in the vote.
The usual canard, that the election was compromised by money from outside the state, can't be used here because both candidates got a ton of outside money. Walker still raised about three times as much money from within the state. Fundraising levels themselves are the only thing left to blame.

And of course, there is now the cliche call for an overbroad boycott of all of Walker's contributors, most of which are companies few people have the option to deal with. Just look through some of the names, the WI Credit Union League Action Fund gave Walker $15,000. It also gave his opponent $8,000. The left normally loves credit unions, good luck boycotting the 199 of them that make up that organization.

The lefties who believe the Wisconsin election was purchased should sit down and ask themselves if that same effect was in place in 2008 when Barack Obama outspent John McCain by three to one. Does that mean they themselves were brainwashed into voting for a candidate they would normally reject?

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