Republicans have flooded Wisconsin with donations. State law allows unlimited donations to Walker, and outside advocacy groups responded. This recall will likely be the second-most expensive election in the country after the presidency.
Equally important, it has helped Republicans get in shape for November. From a logistical point of view, the GOP has updated its databases and tested out its party voter turnout machine right before the presidential race gears up — at no cost to Mitt Romney’s campaign.
The recall could also help in two other ways. Generally, a sitting official’s argument that a recall is a waste of public funds is not a strong defense. This may be because recalls are frequently blowouts — one way or the other. Or because it seems like a desperate “change-the-subject move” by the official facing the recall. So saying a recall is a waste of money doesn’t matter when nearly 90 percent of the voters hate your guts — as happened to the Miami-Dade mayor.
When the recall is close, however, this sort of defense can be a good way to capture the attention of swing voters.