More than $66 million was spent on the race as of May 21, making it easily the most expensive in Wisconsin history. That money was spent on an all-out barrage of television ads, direct mail, automated calls and other advertising that permeated the state for months.
Walker used the recall to raise millions from conservative donors and build his own political fame. National GOP groups, including Americans for Prosperity and the Republican Governors Association, poured money into the contest.
Unions got behind the recall drive, which started with the collection of more than 900,000 signatures over two months to force the vote. Barrett defeated the union-favored candidate in the Democratic primary in May and then tried to use that to his advantage, while also courting union support. He pledged to call a special legislative session to restore the collective bargaining rights Walker took away.
Also Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and at least three Republicans in state Senate races also survived recalls. Republicans were leading in the other Senate race, the outcome of which will determine which party controls the Senate at least through the end of the year.
The recall also focused attention on his record creating jobs. Walker promised in 2010 to create 250,000 jobs over four years as governor, but the number of jobs he actually created was a major point of contention. Walker relied on new data showing the state added about 23,000 jobs in 2011. A different survey that Barrett favored found the state had lost about 34,000 jobs.