Republican strategist Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC became the worst performing outside group of the election cycle on Tuesday with a success rate of just 1 percent on the more than $103 million in ads that it ran.
An analysis by the Sunlight Foundation found that American Crossroads spent $103,559,672 and none of the candidates it supported won. The group did see a small “return on investment” by spending 1.29 percent of its ad money on opposing two losing candidates.
American Crossroads spent $84 million opposing President Barack Obama and another $6 million in support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Rove had predicted that Romney would win at least 285 electoral votes and later refused to accept the fact that his candidate had lost, virtually halting coverage of the election as Fox News was forced to explain the network’s call to him on Tuesday night.
The Sunlight Foundation also found that American Crossroads’ sister organization, Crossroads GPS, performed miserably, spending $70,710,008 and receiving a 14.4 percent return on investment.
Planned Parenthood Votes was the best performing outside group. It spent $5,086,007 and achieved a 98.58 percent return on investment by successfully supporting seven winning candidates and opposing seven losing candidates.
American Crossroads Communications Director Jonathan Collegio asserted to MSNBC on Wednesday that the group’s money had been well spent because it gave Romney an opportunity to win by keeping the election close.
“We believe that American Crossroads by evening out the playing field kept this what was essentially a two-point race at the end,” Collegio said.
But that explanation may not go far enough for the wealthy conservatives who funded Rove’s effort.
“The billionaire donors I hear are livid,” a Republican operative reportedly told The Huffington Post. “There is some holy hell to pay. Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do … I don’t know how you tell your donors that we spent $390 million and got nothing.”
Even billionaire birther Donald Trump publicly blasted Rove on Twitter.
“Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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