Big spenders: How candidates backed by outside groups fared


Yesterday’s big win for the Republicans was also a major victory for some the outside groups that have spent liberally on the election.

American Crossroads, the conservative-leaning group advised by Karl Rove was the night’s biggest winner, helping Republicans take control of the House and narrow the margin in the Senate.

The Super PAC spent money on 43 candidates, and racked up 28 wins and 15 losses. Some of those losses include the Nevada Senate race between Majority Leader and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle and the Colorado Senate race between Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Ken Buck.  American Crossroads had invested the most ($5.9 million) in this race, and although it was too close to call till earlier today, Bennet won by a slim margin.

The group had better luck with influencing the outcome in the Missouri Senate seat where then spent $2.6 million supporting long time Congressman Roy Blunt and opposing Robin Carnahan, Missouri’s Secretary of State.

For more details on the outcome of various races and the outside money influencing each race click here. We'll have more analysis on this and other election related issues tomorrow. 

Another one of the top spenders is the other Rove-linked group, Crossroads GPS, which disclosed spending about $16 million in the midterms.  Among their major wins on election night was the Illinois Senate seat which went to Republican candidate Mark Kirk where the group had spent $4.4 million opposing Alexi Giannoulias to take over President Obama’s old Senate seat.

Some of the other big spenders were labor unions AFSCME and SEIU, each of which spent about $10 million each. SEIU spent their money on supporting or opposing 41 federal candidates and 13 of these went in their favor. AFSCME had a better record, spending money on 22 candidates of which 11 were winners.