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American Crossroads & Crossroads GPS spend $174 million; 70% from Anonymous Donors

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The Crossroads network has spent approximately $174,285,625.40 on the 2012 election and almost three out of every four dollars (70.5%) of this organization’s spending has come from anonymous donors.

This sum essentially ensures that Crossroads will be the most influential outside group in this election cycle. To illustrate: Crossroads has doubled the spending of the pro-Romney super PAC Restore our Future and may even outpace the incredible performance of the Republican National Committee.

Crossroads GPS, the 501(c)4 arm that does not disclose its donors, has spent  $122,954,165.33 according to press releases and information reported to the FEC. GPS’s sister super PAC, American Crossroads, has shelled out another $51,331,460.070 in this election cycle. The Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie inspired powerhouse of outside spending has skewed more towards anonymous sources of funds in this election: only 44% of the $38.6 million that Crossroads doled out in the 2010 cycle came from GPS’s furtive patrons.

This indicates that either more donors or the donors who are giving the most are choosing to remain anonymous. Given the tremendous amount of attention that mega-donors like Sheldon Adelson have received for their political involvement, it is not surprising to discover that many donors are choosing secrecy.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no way to know how much Crossroads GPS is sitting on, and the balance of American Crossroads is only disclosed quarterly. Depending on its cash on hand, Crossroads may be within striking distance of the ambitious $240 million goal that was set when former Governor Haley Barbour signed on as chief fundraiser just over a year ago.

The two groups have combined for just $1.2 million in expenditures supporting a candidate, meaning that 99.3% of their spending is on negative ads. For comparison’s sake, 72% of the spending from all 822 super PACs in this election has been negative.