Karl Rove led a group of Republican donors that raised more than $300 million for GOP candidates, hoping to earn Mitt Romney a win over Barack Obama and turn the Senate over to Republicans.
On Election Night, they lost it all.
Karl Rove’s American Crossroads “Super PAC” was a force in the 2012 election, pumping money into a number of race. But it came with little payout. Of the 10 Senate races where Rove’s groups spent the most money, Democrats won in nine, Reuters noted.
The failures of Rove’s groups were of historic proportions, NBC News noted. An analysis from the Sunlight Foundation, a group that tracks political spending, found that Crossroads had a success rate of just 1 percent on the $103 million it spent on attack ads, the worst performance of any outside group for return on investment in the 2012 election.
The frustration was evident for Karl Rove on Election Night. Joining Fox News an an analyst, Rove tried desperately to argue with the network’s political analysts when they called Ohio — and the 2012 presidential election — for President Obama.
“I think this is premature,” said Rove, who was behind two successful runs for president for George W. Bush.
Rove’s contention caused anchor Megyn Kelly to walk across the studio to confirm with the network’s analysts, who shot down Rove’s attempt to delay the election results.
The poor performance for Crossroads led many conservatives to turn on Karl Rove, Reuters noted. Conservative activist Richard Viguerie released a statement Wednesday that said “in any logical universe,” Rove “would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again and no one would give a dime to their ineffective Super PACs, such as American Crossroads.”
Karl Rove had big plans for Crossroads. Earlier this year, he told Reuters that he wanted it to be a “permanent presence” in US politics, working alongside the Republican Party to keep the GOP in power. That now appears to be greatly in question, as even Rove searched for answers as to why the PAC — and Republicans as a whole — performed so poorly.
“This thing was won,” Karl Rove said.