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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, April 15, 2011

American Crossroads and New Democratic Groups

CNN reports on Democratic efforts to replicate the success of American Crossroads.

Steven Law, president of the conservative outside group American Crossroads, insists that Democrats already dominate outside spending -- thanks to labor unions. "For years now the unions have perfected the art of doing outside campaign ads, outside voter turnout activity," Law said, adding, "We created American Crossroads to be a counterpoint to what the unions and other groups like Moveon.org have done very effectively for the last several elections."

He predicts liberal groups will outspend conservatives this cycle. But Democratic fundraisers laugh that off, saying Republicans can raise far more money from deep-pocketed donors.

Apparently, it's a race to lower expectations.

Many new Republican-aligned groups popped up last election, including the American Action Network, supported by top Republican fundraiser Fred Malek and former Sen. Norm Coleman on its board.

Other major players on the conservative side: the Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, all of which made major investments in the midterm campaign ads against Democratic candidates.

American Crossroads and affiliate Crossroads GPS is the behemoth on the scene. Co-founded by Rove, it raised $71 million and in its first year last cycle and saturated the airwaves in some hotly contested campaigns. For the coming election, it says it hopes to raise $120 million. The group tells CNN within weeks it will air ads related to the federal budget fight.

"This is one election where literally everything is at stake: the White House, the Senate majority, the House majority and even the courts for potentially a generation so everybody's very engaged and interested. And they want to continue to play and hopefully affect the direction of the country in a positive way," American Crossroads' Law says.