NRA Spends Money On Losing Candidates During 2012 Election

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Gun
An Albertsons store employee found a loaded gun, other than the one shown here, while unpacking a box of frozen ribs in Roswell, N.M.

 

Though it spent nearly $11 million on the 2012 election, the National Rifle Association saw less than 1 percent of its money go toward its desired result, according to the Sunlight Foundation—a nonpartisan group that uses data to promote government transparency.

 

While the NRA supported 27 winning candidates, it used the majority of its donated funds to target Democrats, many of whom wound up defeating their Republican rivals.

 

According to the Sunlight's data, the gun rights group doled out nearly $9 million to oppose Democrats, spending nearly $7.5 million to run ads opposing Barack Obama alone.

 

Elsewhere, the NRA earmarked nearly $500,000 to target Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and another $575,000 to defeat Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and candidate Tim Kaine in Virginia. All three of them won.

 

Though it spent far less money supporting Republicans, the NRA did pony up $1.8 million to back Mitt Romney's campaign and spent another $537,000 on Indiana senatorial hopeful Richard Mourdock, who lost.

 

Other conservative groups, according to Sunlight, also came up short in this year's election. American Crossroads, a conservative fundraising vehicle linked to GOP consultant Karl Rove, spent $104 million in support of Republican efforts, though its outlays did not produce a single winning candidate. Of the total amount of money it doled out, American Crossroads received only a 1.29 percent return.

 

A variety of other donors—both left and right-leaning—saw much better returns on their investments. Planned Parenthood, a Democratically-inclined organization, accrued a 98 percent return rate on the $5 million it spent. The group supported 11 winning candidates and opposed 11 candidates that lost.

 

On the conservative side, the American Action Network received a 60 percent return on the $11 million it distributed. The organization assisted six winning candidates and targeted six others that lost.

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