-By Paul Blumnthal
November 4, 2012- WASHINGTON — The independent group American Crossroads, a super PAC, and Crossroads GPS, a social welfare non-profit, set a goal to raise and spend $300 million on the 2012 election. When all is said and done on Nov. 6, they will, in all likelihood, have reached or come incredibly close to that once unbelievable goal.
The two groups, founded by Republican political operative Karl Rove and others in 2010, have already spent $271 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and press releases.
Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio told The Huffington Post that the groups will succeed in their $300 million effort.
"The Crossroads groups will meet their goal of raising $300m for the 2011-12 cycle because there is a great desire to change the direction of the country and donors see Crossroads as an effective and efficient platform for effecting change," he wrote in an email.
The organizations have emerged from the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision to become the best-financed independent political groups in modern political history. They will surpass the combined spending of all independent groups in the 2010 election and have already put nearly $100 million more into the election than the liberal groups Americans Coming Together and the Media Fund did in 2004.
This political muscle is mostly deployed through multi-million dollar advertising buys targeting candidates on both television and the Internet. The groups have spent $260 million on these advertising campaigns, according to FEC reports and press releases. The majority of that — $171.5 million — has gone to ads intended to help defeat President Barack Obama. Another $66.3 million has been put toward Senate races and $11.6 million toward House races.
Focus-groups held by the two organizations found that persuadable voters tended to be disillusioned former Obama supporters.