In fact, donors are starting to question the fundamental strategy of Crossroads and other groups that spent primarily on advertising, said Drew Ryun, who helped start or run two groups — the Madison Project and American Majority Action — that focused almost exclusively on ground organizing.
“In that reassessment, folks like Karl Rove and Carl Forti are going to take a beating,” Ryun said, referring to Crossroads’ political director Forti, a Rove protegé. “If Rove is not done, he is dangerously close to it.”
Asked about how the results reflect on Rove’s strategy, Wyoming mega-donor Foster Friess, who says he donated to Crossroads GPS, said he was planning to shift his cash from television ads to grass-roots organizing. “I’m not a big fan of TV ads — they’re just too quick. They are sound bites.”
Rove still has plenty of defenders in the GOP establishment and its mega-donor base.From Resurgent Republic's post-election survey:
“Anybody who says that Karl Rove is somehow diminished or marginalized is not thinking clearly. He is a well-regarded, well respected organizer and analyst and he will continue to be so,” former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told POLITICO.
The Obama campaign strategy of turning out its base is reflected by the fact that 57 percent of Democrats were personally contacted, while 45 percent of Republicans were personally contacted by the Romney campaign. The margin is smaller when considering those who were contacted five or more times, 28 percent of Democrats by the Obama campaign and 25 percent of Republicans by the Romney campaign.The survey, however, did not ask whether the contact was by means of face-to-face conversation (effective) or robocall (ineffective and often counterproductive).
What now? The Washington Post reports:
Where until now it battled only in general elections and against Democrats, Crossroads is considering whether to start picking sides in Republican primaries. The idea would be to boost the candidate it deems most electable and avoid nominating the kind of flawed and extreme ones who cost the party what should otherwise have been easy Senate wins in Florida, Missouri and Indiana.
That, however, could put Crossroads at odds with the tea party and other groups that devote their energies to promoting the most ideologically pure contenders.
Crossroads also is likely to invest more deeply in organizations such as the Republican State Leadership Committee,which has been trying to build a more appealing GOP farm team by, among other things, recruiting Hispanic candidates to run for state-level office.
And it is raising money to run advertising shoring up the congressional Republicans during the upcoming negotiations to avert the “fiscal cliff.”