- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2014

A new report shows that while Republicans had the upper hand in terms of fundraising and spending in the 2014 midterms, the GOP also made smarter election investments.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, many of the largest Republican groups saw a success rate of 80 percent or more on their campaign spending than Democratic groups.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent over $37 million opposing Democratic candidates in the midterms, and 94 percent of that money was invested in successful Republican campaigns.

Only 17 percent of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s nearly $52 million investments supported winning candidates.

The pattern applies to outside spending groups as well.

The Democratic Senate Majority PAC, formed by staffers for Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, only saw a 9 percent success rate on $33 million in election spending, while 96 percent of Karl Rove’s super PAC Crossroads GPS’ $26 million in election spending went towards successful conservative campaigns.

Liberal environmental activist Tom Steyer saw little return on his personal investment of $70 million to form his NextGen Climate Action super PAC, which suffered major losses to Cory Garnder in Colorado and Joni Ernst in Iowa.

Of NextGen Climate Action’s $18 million election investments, only 32 percent succeeded in Democratic campaigns.

However, success rates could change depending on the results of undecided elections in Alaska, Louisiana and Virginia.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Alaska has been the target of nearly $40.5 million in outside spending.

Nearly $16 million in outside money has poured into Louisiana where the race will not be decided until a runoff in December.

Additionally there are still 11 House races left to be decided.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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