Super PACs Spend Millions Hoping to Unseat Wisconsin Dem Sen. Baldwin
Martha Laning, the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, told the radio talk show “Devil’s Advocates” she expects more money to be spent in the race for the Senate seat held by fellow Democrat Tammy Baldwin than in any other 2018 Senate race where a Democrat is running for re-election.
Daily Kos Labor Editor Laura Clawson said that it’s perfectly understandable why GOP-inspired super PACs have painted a target on Baldwin.
“She’s no wobbly, weak Democrat – she’s strong on a wide range of issues. Of course, Republicans want to take her down, and think they have a shot at it,” Clawson wrote.
Clawson also pointed out that Donald Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 – in fact, it is one of the states given credit for his victory – and incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R) defeated former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) that year.
On top of that, Gov. Scott Walker is running for re-election, bringing an incredibly strong campaign organization into the 2018 fray.
“Wisconsin has always been a battleground state,” Baldwin said on MSNBC. “But I think the spending goes beyond that. In some ways it is personal because I have been unafraid to stand up to these powerful interests that fund these super PACs.”
Laning said $5 million had been spent against Baldwin as of Jan. 5, “and it is five times more money than all of the other 2018 U.S. Senate candidates combined.”
“They are coming after Tammy Baldwin like no other,” Laning claimed. “These big right-wing organizations are coming in here because she is a barrier to their greedy, horrible agenda.”
A Center for Responsive Politics breakdown of the conservative spending against Baldwin shows not $5 million, but $3.07 million. It also showed spending of only $599,688 against all other incumbent Senate Democrats running for re-election in 2018.
And to give Laning her due, spending against Baldwin, even at $3 million, was five times greater than what was paid for advertising against all other Senate Democrats up for re-election in November.
Politifact reported that to get to the $5 million toted by Laning, it is necessary to add in what has been spent in support of Kevin Nicholson, one of two candidates in the Wisconsin GOP Senate primary.
That brings the total spent against Baldwin up to $5.43 million, seven times more than all other Senate Democrat incumbents combined.
Laning also said most of the money spent against Baldwin is coming from special interest groups and super PACs based outside of Wisconsin.
If 2018 works out to be anything like 2016, the money spent against Baldwin will be coming from billionaires pushing their political agendas and not paying too much attention to the national Republican Party.
Patrick Guarasci, a Democratic political consultant in Wisconsin, told the Huffington Post that outside money came pouring into the state to back incumbent Johnson in his 2016 election campaign after the RNC and the National Republican Senate Committee began pulling funding for the senator.