Money and Wisconsin Elections in 2014

April 18, 2016

All numbers are for calendar years and fall general elections unless indicated otherwise. Numbers are rounded off. Candidate fundraising and spending totals are for Democratic and Republican candidates only. Financial activity by primary losers is excluded. A pdf version of this report is available.

Candidates

Number of legislative seats up for election in the 2014 general election: 116.

Number of candidates running for the legislature on the primary ballot in the 2014 general election: 247.

Number on the final ballot: 186.

Democrats: 86. Republicans: 91. Third Party and Independent: 9.

Number of legislative seats contested by candidates from both major parties in November 2014: 61.

Number of legislative seats where the winning candidate faced only Independent or Third Party ballot opposition in the general election: 6.

Democrats: 4. Republicans 2.

Number of those candidates who were incumbents: 5.

Democrats: 3. Republicans: 2.

Number of legislative candidates with no ballot opposition in the general election: 49

Democrats: 21. Republicans 28.

Number of those who were incumbents: 41.

Democrats: 18. Republican: 23.

Number of incumbents running for reelection in 2014: 87.

Democrats: 36. Republicans: 51.

Number of incumbents who lost in 2014: 3.

Democrats: 3. Republicans: 0.

Party representation in the Assembly before the 2014 fall election:

Democrats 39. Republicans 60.

Party representation in the Assembly after the 2014 fall election:

Democrats 36. Republicans 63.

Party representation in the Senate before the election:

Democrats 15. Republicans: 18.

Party representation in the Senate after the election:

Democrats 14. Republicans 19.

Votes

Votes for Assembly candidates in 2012:

Democrats: 1,417,359. Republicans: 1,250,190. Third-Party and Independents: 28,099.

Vote for Assembly candidates in 2014:

Democrats: 883,470. Republicans: 1,170,284. Third-Party and Independents: 23,187.

Percentage decrease of Democratic vote for Assembly from 2012 to 2014: 37.7%.

Republican: 6.4%.

Chart 1

Chart 1: Wisconsin Assembly Vote 2002-2014

*All voters for president or governor in the general election.

 

Vote for Senate candidates in 2012:

Democrats: 696,320. Republicans: 593,893. Third-Party and Independents: 13,118.

Vote for Senate candidates in 2014:

Democrats: 509,886. Republicans: 623,358. Third-Party and Independents: 20,020.

Percentage decrease of Democratic vote for Senate from 2012 to 2014: 26.8%. Republican increase of the vote for Senate from 2012 to 2014: 4.9%

Chart 2

Chart 2: Wisconsn Senate Vote 2002-2014

*All voters for president or governor in the general election.

 

Vote for president in 2012:

Democrat: 1,620,985. Republican: 1,407,966

Vote for governor in 2014:

Democrat: 1,122,913. Republican: 1,259,706.

Percent decrease in Democratic vote from 2012 presidential election to 2014 election for governor:  30.7%. Republican: 10.5%.

Vote for president in 2008:

Democrat: 1,677,211. Republican: 1,262,393.

Vote for governor in 2010:

Democrat: 1,004,303. Republican: 1,128,941.

Percent decrease in Democratic vote from 2008 presidential election to 2010 election for governor: 40.1%. Republican: 10.6%.

Chart 3

Chart 3: Wisconsin Vote for President or Governor 2002-2014

 

2014 Income

Total income from all sources (contributions and non-contribution income sources) for all major party candidates in the fall general election: $53.7 million.

Chart 4

Chart 4: Election Year Income for All General Election Democratic & Republican Candidates Gubernatorial Elecction Years 2002-2014

 

Legislative Candidate Income

2014 income from all sources for Democratic and Republican general election legislative candidates: $9.2 million.

Chart 5

Chart 5: Democratic & Republican Legislative Candidates Election Year Income 2002-2014

 

Total 2014 income for general election Democratic legislative candidates: $3.3 million.

Sources: $150,000 from candidate self-contributions; $2.3 million from individual contributions; $841,000 from political committee contributions; $7,000 from non-contribution income sources.

Chart 6

Chart 6: General Election Democratic Legislative Election Year Income Sources 2002-2014

 

Total 2014 income for general election for Republican legislative candidates: $5.9 million.

Sources: $490,000 from candidate self-contributions; $4.2 million from individual contributions; $1.2 million from political committee contributions; $14,000 from non-contribution income sources.

Chart 7

Chart 7: General Election Republican Legislative Election Year Income Sources 2002-2014

 

Number of interest groups* that gave more money to general election Democratic legislative candidates in 2014 than Republican candidates in 2014: 7. (See Table 1 below.)

Table 1
Interest Groups* That Contributed More to General Election
Democratic Legislative Candidates in 2014 than Republican

Interest 2014 Dem Total 2014 Rep Total
Retired/Homemakers/Non-income earners $450,750 $372,552
Labor Unions $435,589 $102,810
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists $166,147 $143,728
Education $131,043 $36,732
Civil servant/public employee $111,716 $57,627
Unknown (Unreported/unclassified employers or generic occupations) $76,207 $61,209
Non-Profit/Social Services $40,591 $26,230
Total $1,412,043 $800,888

Number of interest groups* that gave more money to general election Republican legislative candidates in 2014 than Democratic candidates: 17.(See Table 2 below.)

Table 2
Interest Groups* That Contributed More to General Election
Republican Legislative Candidates in 2014 than Democratic

Interest 2014 Rep Total 2014 Dem Total
Political/Ideological $521,007 $313,595
Manufacturing & Distributing $408,278 $74,362
Banking & Finance $385,631 $76,537
Health Professionals $357,809 $152,586
Construction $344,262 $40,357
Agriculture $278,623 $58,090
Business $267,342 $83,670
Insurance $260,208 $55,758
Health Services/Institutions $237,514 $63,843
Real Estate $210,250 $43,454
Road Construction $194,104 $7,000
Tourism/Leisure/Entertainment $177,129 $36,092
Transportation $158,400 $29,955
Energy $141,325 $37,111
Natural Resources $129,682 $22,299
Telecommunications & Computers $105,716 $19,650
Defense $1,150 $1,075
Total $4,178,430 $1,115,434

 

Chart 8

Chart 8: 2014 Interest Group Contirbutions to General Election Democratic & Republican Legislative Candidates

 

Governor Candidate Income

2014 income from all sources for Democratic and Republican general election candidates for governor: $40.5 million (75.5% of all general election candidate income in 2014).

Chart 9

Chart 9: Election Year Income Democratic & Republican Candidates for Governor 2002-2014

 

2014 income from all sources for the Democratic general election candidate for governor: $15.1 million.

Sources: $4.6 million from candidate self-contributions; $8.6 million from individual contributions, $1.9 million from political committee contributions ($803,000 of those from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and $143,000 from running mate’s committee); $17,000 from non-contribution income sources.

Chart 10

Chart 10: General Election Democratic Candidaes for Governor Election Year Income Sources

 

2014 income from all sources for the Republican general election candidate for governor: $25.3 million.

Sources: $21.2 million from individuals contributions, $3.9 million from political committee contributions ($2.3 million of those from the Republican Party of Wisconsin and $1.1 million from running mate’s committee), $283,000 from non-contribution income sources.

Chart 11

Chart 11: General Election Republican Candidates for Governor Election Year Income Sources 2002-2014

 

Number of interest groups* that gave more to the general election gubernatorial Democratic candidate in 2014 than the Republican: 5. (See Table 3 below.)

Table 3
Interest Groups* That Contributed More to the General Election
Democratic Candidate for Governor in 2014 than the Republican

Interest 2014 Dem Total 2014 Rep Total
Labor Unions $919,230 $72,203
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists $698,568 $640,645
Education $645,352 $205,749
Civil servant/public employee $202,970 $112,429
Non-Profit/Social Services $171,555 $155,306
Total $2,637,675 $1,186,332

Number of interest groups* that gave more to the general election gubernatorial Republican candidate in 2014 than the Democratic: 19. (See Table 4 below.)

Table 4  
Interest Groups* That Contributed More to the General Election
Republican Candidate for Governor in 2014 than the Democratic

Interest 2014 Rep Total 2014 Dem Total
Retired/Homemakers/Non-income earners $4,904,595 $2,133,807
Political/Ideological $3,378,589 $1,178,316
Manufacturing & Distributing $1,771,537 $168,438
Unknown (Unreported/unclassified employers or generic occupations) $1,572,829 $709,184
Banking & Finance $1,464,534 $285,176
Construction $1,075,643 $82,056
Business $933,839 $382,572
Health Professionals $915,169 $382,348
Real Estate $894,670 $143,256
Transportation $719,845 $43,761
Agriculture $657,862 $78,221
Health Services/Institutions $579,060 $197,822
Natural Resources $526,107 $72,020
Tourism/Leisure/Entertainment $514,882 $142,494
Insurance $391,409 $42,908
Telecommunications & Computers $214,448 $102,518
Road Construction $197,837 $11,635
Energy $179,153 $54,933
Defense $29,322 $9,532
Total $20,921,330 $6,220,997

 

Chart 12

Chart 12: 2014 Interest Group Contributions to General Election Democratic & Republican Candidates for Governor

 

Amount of individual contributions with identifiable addresses to the Democratic and Republican general election candidates for governor from out of state: $13.9 million. (46.7% of all contributions with identifiable addresses.)

General election Democratic candidate for governor: $3.1 million (34.7%).

General election Republican candidate for governor: $10.7 million. (51.9%)

Chart 13

Chart 13: In-State vs. Out-State Calendar Year Contributons form Individuals to Democratic & Republican General Election Candidates for Governor 2010-2014

 

2014 Spending

Total spending (excluding committee to committee transfers) by all general election Democratic and Republican candidates in 2014: $58 million.

Chart 14

Chart 14: Democratic & Republican General Election Candidate Election Year Spending Normal Gubernatorial Election Years 2002-2014

 

Legislative Campaign Spending

Total spending in 2014 by Democratic and Republican general election legislative candidates: $8.8 million.

Spending in 2014 by Democratic legislative candidates: $3.1 million. Republicans: $5.7 million.

Chart 15

Chart 15: Democratic & Republican General Election Legislative Candiate Election year Spending 2002-2014

 

Special interest spending on legislative races in the form of "independent expenditures" and "issue ads" in 2014: $4.9 million.

Amount of that in the form of independent expenditures: $1.9 million.

In the form of undisclosed "issue ads:" $3 million.

Chart 16

Chart 16: Special Interest Spending in Fall Legislative Elections 2002-2014

 

Special interest spending in the fourteen 2011-2012 Senate recall elections in 2014 dollars: $40.5 million.

Amount spent on independent expenditures in the fourteen 2011-2012 Senate recall elections in 2014 dollars: $19.7 million.

Estimated amount spent on “issue ads” expenditures in the fourteen 2011-2012 Senate recall elections in 2014 dollars: $20.8 million.

Governor Campaign Spending

Total spending (excluding committee transfers) by the Democratic and general election candidates for governor in 2014: $46.3 million(79.8%of all general election candidate spending in 2014).

Amount spent by the Democratic general election candidate: $16.7 million.

Spent by the Republican general election candidate: $29.6 million.

Chart 17

Chart 17: Democratic & Republican General Election Candidates for Governor Election Year  Spending 2002-2014

 

Special interest spending in the 2014 election for governor: $27.8 million.

Amount in the form of disclosed independent expenditures: $16 million.

In the form of undisclosed "issue ads:" $11.8 million.

Chart 18

Chart 18: Special Interest Spending in Elections for Governor 2002-2014

 

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*Interest groups are assigned to individual contributors of $100 or more to a candidate in 2014 and all party, PAC and candidate committee contributors. Contributions by a candidate to his or her own committee are excluded.