The conservative campaign groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have doubled their fund-raising goals for the 2012 elections, now hoping to spend at least $240 million influencing the races to control Congress and the White House. The big-money push will be partly fueled by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former RNC chairman and prolific fund-raiser who decided earlier this year that he didn’t have the “fire in the belly” for a presidential campaign of his own. He has said he will remain neutral in the Republican primaries.
“We see a pathway to at least doubling our earlier projected goal,” Steven Law, the president of Crossroads, told iWatch News . “Everyone is going to stretch as far as they can here because we all feel this is the most important election we have ever been involved with.”
To help achieve its new goal, the two groups have been talking to some prominent GOP figures, notably Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. The former Republican National Committee chairman has agreed to lend his Midas like rolodex to the Crossroads efforts.
“Gov. Barbour’s involvement with us gives us the capacity to focus on the presidential race, the Senate and the House at the same time,” Law said.
Barbour, who leaves his Mississippi post in January, chaired the Republican Governors Association last year when it raised a record $117 million for the fall elections.
American Crossroads, which has spent $255,360 on behalf of Republican nominee Mark Amodei for the Nevada congressional seat vacated by Dean Heller when he became a U.S. senator, received $2 million last month from Texas home builder Bob Perry and $300,000 from Kenneth Griffin, chief executive of Citadel Investment Group LLC in Chicago. Perry donated $7 million to Rove’s group, while Griffin and his wife, Anne, each gave $250,000 last year.
Democrats have set up their own outside groups to counter the Republicans, including one led by Bill Burton, a former aide to President Barack Obama. The groups said they had raised more than $10 million through June 30.