Final look at outside spenders’ 2012 return on investment

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The controversy over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups has put a spotlight on the non-profit groups that played such a prominent role in the 2012 campaign. The groups have become popular conduits for political funds because, unlike political action committees, they do not have to disclose donors to the Federal Election Commission.

While most of the groups whose applications the IRS slow-walked were relatively small givers, many groups that did land non-profit status gave big. Check out this page to see the “social welfare” non-profits who made political expenditures in the 2012 election cycle.

Because of the interest, the Sunlight Foundation has decided to update the Return on Investment feature we first published the day after the election. This analysis looks at more than 100,000 lines of itemized expenditures made by outside spending groups (super PACS as well as 501(c) non profits) and calculates the amount of money that went toward the desired result on Election Day. Our update accounts for updated filings and amendments at the Federal Election Commission and our own data cleanup.

For more details on each group listed below click on the “see ROI breakdown” button. You can sort by general election spending, candidate, support or oppose, and election result. Or, look at the group’s 2012 election profile on Follow the Unlimited Money.

This list below includes the top spending outside groups of 2012. To see more, download total contributions aggregated by organization organizational totals here and candidate totals for each group here.

Our data is only as good as the information reported to the FEC. If you think there is a discrepancy in the data please email us.

 

AMERICAN CROSSROADS

1.29%

Total spent campaign 2012: $104,746,715

  • 1.29% of $103,595,960 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 2 losing candidates;1.29% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

CROSSROADS GRASSROOTS POLICY STRATEGIES

14.43%

Total spent campaign 2012: $70,586,641

  • 14.43% of $70,586,641 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 7 losing candidates;14.43% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE

31.88%

Total spent campaign 2012: $64,653,292

  • 31.88% of $62,752,315 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 2 winning candidates; 0.39% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 17 losing candidates;31.50% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE

61.66%

Total spent campaign 2012: $60,681,466

  • 61.66% of $57,928,105 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 3 winning candidates; 0.86% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 38 losing candidates;60.81% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE

79.73%

Total spent campaign 2012: $52,105,196

  • 79.73% of $52,105,196 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 1 winning candidates; 1.75% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 10 losing candidates;77.97% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

MAJORITY PAC

87.88%

Total spent campaign 2012: $37,498,340

  • 87.88% of $34,380,456 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 6 winning candidates; 6.14% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 10 losing candidates;81.73% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

6.90%

Total spent campaign 2012: $32,676,075

  • 6.90% of $31,937,037 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 4 winning candidates; 2.49% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 3 losing candidates;4.41% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE

24.05%

Total spent campaign 2012: $31,710,841

  • 24.05% of $31,710,841 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 3 losing candidates;24.05% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

HOUSE MAJORITY PAC

70.66%

Total spent campaign 2012: $30,447,657

  • 70.66% of $27,428,203 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 5 winning candidates; 0.13% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 35 losing candidates;70.53% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

AMERICAN FUTURE FUND

5.57%

Total spent campaign 2012: $23,959,072

  • 5.57% of $23,613,532 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 3 losing candidates;5.57% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

FREEDOMWORKS FOR AMERICA

24.48%

Total spent campaign 2012: $19,669,391

  • 24.48% of $16,837,974 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 23 winning candidates; 20.44% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 11 losing candidates;4.04% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM

57.35%

Total spent campaign 2012: $15,794,582

  • 57.35% of $15,791,034 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 2 winning candidates; 7.22% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 6 losing candidates;50.13% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

SEIU COPE (SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION COMMITTEE ON POLITICAL EDUCATION)

77.91%

Total spent campaign 2012: $13,241,402

  • 77.91% of $12,992,509 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 8 winning candidates; 11.26% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 24 losing candidates;66.65% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

ENDING SPENDING ACTION FUND

15.33%

Total spent campaign 2012: $13,250,796

  • 15.33% of $12,833,776 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 4 winning candidates; 7.82% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 2 losing candidates;7.51% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE COUNTY & MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES P E O P L E

52.96%

Total spent campaign 2012: $12,449,401

  • 52.96% of $12,449,401 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 1 winning candidates; 1.61% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 13 losing candidates;51.35% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

AMERICAN ACTION NETWORK INC

60.33%

Total spent campaign 2012: $11,785,919

  • 60.33% of $10,638,427 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 6 winning candidates; 0.64% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 6 losing candidates;59.69% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA POLITICAL VICTORY FUND

0.83%

Total spent campaign 2012: $11,159,493

  • 0.83% of $10,536,106 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 27 winning candidates; 0.44% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 6 losing candidates;0.39% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS INC

83.00%

Total spent campaign 2012: $10,897,016

  • 83.00% of $9,646,723 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 10 winning candidates; 13.64% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 13 losing candidates;69.36% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

INDEPENDENCE USA PAC

46.09%

Total spent campaign 2012: $8,230,464

  • 46.09% of $8,230,464 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 2 winning candidates; 36.90% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 2 losing candidates;9.20% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND

58.05%

Total spent campaign 2012: $9,450,237

  • 58.05% of $7,628,018 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 6 losing candidates;58.05% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION

10.74%

Total spent campaign 2012: $7,448,017

  • 10.74% of $7,419,644 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 27 winning candidates; 10.43% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 2 losing candidates;0.31% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

NOW OR NEVER PAC

14.30%

Total spent campaign 2012: $7,760,174

  • 14.30% of $7,064,959 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 1 losing candidates;14.30% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

PATRIOT MAJORITY USA

42.52%

Total spent campaign 2012: $7,509,093

  • 42.52% of $6,323,095 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 3 winning candidates; 11.21% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 5 losing candidates;31.32% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

WORKERS’ VOICE

76.02%

Total spent campaign 2012: $6,340,554

  • 76.02% of $6,194,977 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 18 winning candidates; 41.58% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 16 losing candidates;34.44% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

WOMEN VOTE!

80.18%

Total spent campaign 2012: $7,750,051

  • 80.18% of $5,987,230 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 5 winning candidates; 7.17% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 11 losing candidates;73.01% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION PEA-FEDERAL

91.20%

Total spent campaign 2012: $5,306,123

  • 91.20% of $5,306,123 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 14 winning candidates; 68.69% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 7 losing candidates;22.51% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

CLUB FOR GROWTH ACTION

41.79%

Total spent campaign 2012: $16,584,305

  • 41.79% of $5,163,013 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 4 winning candidates; 14.09% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 2 losing candidates;27.70% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc.

98.11%

Total spent campaign 2012: $6,886,468

  • 98.11% of $5,141,216 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 12 winning candidates; 26.65% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 12 losing candidates;71.46% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES

98.76%

Total spent campaign 2012: $5,039,114

  • 98.76% of $5,039,114 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 7 winning candidates; 18.38% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 7 losing candidates;80.39% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


 

AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP

1.96%

Total spent campaign 2012: $5,022,762

  • 1.96% of $5,022,762 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
  • Supported 4 winning candidates; 1.96% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
  • Opposed 0 losing candidates;0.00% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

See the full 2012 cycle profile here.

See ROI breakdown


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