Tuesday's elections produced some big winners -- and some really big losers -- whose names never appeared on any ballot. After outside groups spent more than $1.3 billion in independent expenditures to influence the outcome of the election, we now get to see just what all that money bought them -- or didn't.
Turns out some of the smart money wasn't so smart after all when it came to making political bets. This year, the pro-business GOP Crossroads fundraising combine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weren't as good at picking winners as the labor movement, which appears to be one of the surprise winners of Election Day.
Using Follow the Unlimited Money, Sunlight calculated returns on investment for the outside groups that gave the most during this year's general election campaign. This includes super PACs, non-profit organizations and political party committees. We left out the big committees focused solely on helping presidential contenders -- Restore Our Future, which backed Mitt Romney, and Priorities USA, which supported President Barack Obama -- because their won/loss percentage will be obvious from the election results. The groups listed below all played in more than one contest.
The percentage under each group's name represents their fall batting average: It reflects how much of their money went to support candidates who won and to oppose candidates who lost in thegeneral election campaign. Our calculation does not include money spent on primary contests or special elections. And our data is only as good as the group's reporting to the Federal Election Commission. If you see discrepancies or errors, email us here.Here are some "return on investment" figures: