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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Alternatives to the Crossroads Groups

The New York Times reports on GOP outside groups arising as alternatives to the Crossroads groups.  After the disappointing 2012 results, some in the part developed a skepticism about the Crossroads brand.
Now Crossroads appears to be testing a new approach. The group has so far stayed out of Kentucky, for example, where Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, is facing both a Tea Party challenger in the primary and a strong Democratic opponent. Instead, Mr. McConnell is backed by a new group called Kentuckians for Strong Leadership. Although it is legally separate from Crossroads, most of its cash came from Crossroads donors, Mr. Law sits on its board, and the two organizations share a treasurer.

Crossroads has lobbied to help set up similar groups in races where its brand may be less appealing to voters or donors, according to two Republicans with knowledge of the conversations. But Mr. Rove has grown so controversial among some conservatives, the Republicans said, that candidates worry that donors will not contribute to a super PAC if it is connected to Crossroads.

In West Virginia, Mr. Law warned supporters of Representative Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican who is a top prospect to win a Senate seat next year, that if they formed their own super PAC, Ms. Capito would not be able to count on significant support from Crossroads, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

But some new super PACs are choosing to work instead with a broader array of ad buyers and consultants. In private meetings with potential donors and clients, their strategists criticize Crossroads for what they call a “cookie-cutter” approach to advertisements and messaging.

Many of the upstarts are being organized by former aides and longtime supporters of the Republican candidates, who argue that they will be the best stewards of their former bosses’ political interests.