Walker’s fundraising dollars more than double Burke campaign

Walker has raised $8.2 million this year, Burke has raised $3.6 million

The deadline to announce campaign fundraising amounts in Wisconsin’s race for governor isn’t for another two weeks.

In a surprise move both Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic candidate Mary Burke are letting the public know how well both parties are doing a little early.

The newly released numbers show the millions of dollars both Walker and Burke have raised so far this year and how it’s used in our community.

In the latest Marquette Law poll there is no clear favorite in the race to be Wisconsin’s next governor.

When in comes to fundraising money though, Walker is clearly ahead.

In 2014, Walker has raised $8.2 million. His campaign has only spent about $600,000.

“All in all (Walker) is good at raising money. He knows how to do it, he’s had enough campaigns to be very successful at it,” University of Wisconsin-La Crosse political science professor Joe Heim said.

Democratic candidate Burke has raised less than half what Walker has. She’s put $3.6 million in the bank and spent $1.1 million.

“Think of politics as a horse race, people put their money in who they think is going to win. So if Mary Burke was conceived as the front runner she’d be getting more money than the governor,” Heim said.

Heim said Burke isn’t bad at fundraising, it just looks that way compared to Walker.

“Her numbers actually compare favorably to what (Walker) did four years ago and (what) other candidates have done. The fact that the governor is so far ahead is an indication of his national exposure, and just the fact that he’s got a lot of financial support behind him and has in the past,” Heim said.

No matter how much either candidate raises, in La Crosse County Democrats and Republicans agree those fundraising dollars will be put to good use to get their candidate elected.

“A lot of that money will come down in the form of yard signs, field support, getting staff that can help people get in the right place, bumper stickers,” La Crosse County Democratic Party board member Devin Remiker said.

“The problem we’ve had is not that our message is out of date, we just need more messengers. This money allows us to get that message out there,” 3rd Congressional District Vice Chair Julian Bradley said.

Even though Walker has more dollars, Heim says it will still come down to the votes in November.

“You can win a race without outspending your opponent. Money gives you an enormous advantage however, without any question,” Heim said.

Heim said a positive for the Burke campaign is that she is capable of funding the campaign herself. So far she has not put any of her own money in this year.

Heim also said he expects outside groups from both parties to be spending quite a bit of money in the race as well.