April 15 (Bloomberg) -- Karl Rove’s pro-Republican super-political action committee banked more money last month than it did in all of 2013.
American Crossroads raised $5.5 million in the first three months of this year, almost all of it in March, the group said in a written statement yesterday. The surge comes after a relatively quiet 2013 in which it raised $3.6 million throughout the entire year, U.S. Federal Election Commission reports show.
The super-PAC is scheduled to file its March fundraising report, which will include contributors’ names, to the FEC by April 20. American Crossroads and its secret-donor counterpart, Crossroads GPS, spent $176 million -- more than any other outside group -- in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, which tracks political spending. Rove advises both.
The Crossroads organizations are now working to help Republicans win the net six seats the party needs to take control of the U.S. Senate, as well as expand its influence in the House.
The March cash infusion to American Crossroads is already showing up on television. The group has put up more than 1,500 commercials in the Alaska, Montana and North Carolina Senate races, where Democrats are trying to hold seats, New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG shows. Polling in each of those states shows they are close contests.
“There’s been a noticeable rise in enthusiasm among our donors, in part due to the impressive slate of candidates who are strengthening the opportunity to win a Republican majority in the Senate,” American Crossroads President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Law said in a statement.
The super-PAC made a small TV ad purchase in the March special election of Florida Representative David Jolly, a Republican who prevailed over a better-known Democratic candidate. FEC records show it also paid for ads mailed directly to voters in that district.
And late last month, Crossroads GPS began hitting Senator Jeanne Shaheen for supporting Obama’s health-care plan. The New Hampshire Democrat faces a challenge by former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who recently moved to the Granite State.
The Crossroads groups had until recently kept a low-profile.
After Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”
Republicans who favor causes such as abortion restrictions and smaller government accused Rove of diverting money from their issues -- and gaining nothing. “Right now there is stunned disbelief that Republicans fared so poorly after all the money they invested,” Brent Bozell, president of the Christian-values group For America in Reston, Virginia, said at the time.
In the early months of 2013, the Crossroads groups announced they would raise money for a new project that would try to assist pro-business Republican candidates in primary races. Called the Conservative Victory Project, that super-PAC hadn’t raised any money by the end of last year.
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