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Record amounts being raised for upcoming Assembly battle

Both major parties are raising record amounts of money to try and win control of the state Assembly in November.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Democratic candidates and their party's campaign committee raised almost $1.4 million in the first half of the year. That's up 68 percent from two years ago.

Republicans boosted their fundraising by 33 percent, to just more than $1 million.

It's the first time since 2000 that Assembly Democrats have raised more than the GOP in the first half of their election years.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign provided the numbers for the State Journal.

Democrats could get a huge prize if they win: both houses of the Legislature, plus the governor's office. That would make it easy to pass their liberal agenda which includes tax-funded health care.

Democrats are putting up their largest number of Assembly candidates in 24 years. They only need to gain three seats in November to win the Assembly.

Assistant Minority Leader Jon Richards of Milwaukee says the money advantage could make a number of races more competitive.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse professor Joe Heim says the smart money appears to be moving toward the Democrats, or at the very least, donors are covering their bases by giving to both major parties.