Karl Rove, Koch Brothers and NRA Hit the Jackpot in Election Victories

Friday, November 07, 2014
David Koch, Karl Rove (AP photos)

There were a lot of winners on the conservative side of the political spectrum this week. That includes powerful right-wing groups that spent tens of millions of dollars on Republican campaigns and causes.


For GOP strategist Karl Rove, the 2014 midterm was a huge improvement over 2012, when much of the money he spent went to losing causes. This time however, his Crossroads groups spent big and scored big, according to data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.


His Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies allocated $26 million to help Republicans and punish Democrats. The group had a 96% success rate in races in which it had put money. Rove spent about 16 times as much on negative ads as on positive ones here. His other group, American Crossroads, spent less—$19.3 million—but still did quite well. It won 80% of its targeted campaigns. Its ratio of negative-to-positive spending was about 5 to 1.


The conservative Koch brothers also were victorious on Tuesday. Their Freedom Partners Action Fund received an 85% return on their $21.5 million investment in the election. Almost twice as much of its money went to negative advertising as positive.


Still another right-wing juggernaut, the National Rifle Association, had much to celebrate once the returns came in. The National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund spent $12.2 million and only lost 5% of its races. Another NRA political arm, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, put out $10.3 million and scored 87%.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Outside Groups’ Return on Investment: Rove Leads 2014 Conservative Rebound (by Jacob Fenton and Peter Olsen-Phillips, Sunlight Foundation)


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