More than a few Republican operatives have been expressing nervousness about whether American Crossroads, the party’s big super PAC that was so active in 2010 and 2012, will play another significant role this cycle. They note that Americans for Prosperity has been carrying the “outside” load so far against Democratic super PACs and wonder how long that can continue.
GOP worry is likely to increase now that Patriot Majority USA, another Democratic “outside” group will, according to a piece in Politico, begin to air new ads in Senate contests. The Senate Majority PAC and League of Conservation Voters are already airing ads that seek to help Democratic Senate prospects.
American Crossroads showed just $2.7 million in the bank at the end of December, raising questions about whether it, along with its sister organization, Crossroads GPS, can come close to the $70 million they spent in the 2010 cycle and the $100 million they spent during the 2012 cycle on paid advocacy in House and Senate races. (The two groups’ total spending for the 2012 cycle exceeded $300 million, but roughly two-thirds of that was spent on the presidential contest.)
Crossroads contributors apparently have sat on their hands so far , frustrated after promises of Republican victories in 2012 that never materialized. But there are signs that the Republican super PAC is getting ready to go on the offensive. New “robo-polls” released by the group surely are intended to drive home the point to past and future funders that the Senate can be flipped in November.
More importantly, Steven Law, the president and CEO of both American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, made it clear to me this week that his group is preparing to enter the fray soon.
“My expectation is that we will be active in the very near future in the target states,” Law told me.
While the super PAC, which is already active in the Florida 13th District special election, won’t say how much it expects to spend this cycle in advocacy, it seems likely that its spending on House and Senate races in 2014 will at the least fall into the spending range it established in 2010 and 2012.
The question remains: How quickly will American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS be able to get in the game, and how effective will they be?