Reeling from Losses, New Super PAC Ditches Tea Party Candidates
Reeling from Republican losses in the 2010 and 2012 general elections, the organizers of American Crossroads, arguably the most influential Republican super political action committee (PAC), have announced the newly formed "Conservative Victory Project" super PAC, tasked with ensuring that Republican congressional candidates are successful in the next general election.
"Our party has lost at least six Senate races in the last two election cycles not because of conservative ideas but because of undisciplined candidates and subpar campaigns," Victory Project spokesman Jonathan Collegio told CNN.
"We want to elect conservative candidates to the House and Senate," he added. "But we have to win general elections."
The GOP is trying to steer clear of tea party candidates and ultra conservatives, who won widespread support in 2010 primary elections but suffered heavy losses in the general elections, many of whom have been caricatured and called unelectable by both Democrats and Republicans.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” American Crossroads president Steven Law told the New York Times. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
Law is referring to candidates such as Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, who defeated moderate Republicans in the primary and although they ran in districts which heavily favored Republicans, still lost to more conservative Democrat candidates.
The newly formed super PAC has already amassed its fair share of critics. Many are eager to point out that most Senate candidates favored by the Crossroads groups in 2012 ended up losing.
Many allege that the Republican establishment is further isolating their base.
“Rather than listening to the grassroots and working to advance their principles, the establishment has chosen to declare war on its party’s most loyal supporters. If they keep this up, the Republican Party will remain in the wilderness for decades to come," Matt Hoskins of the Senate Conservatives Fund said.
Super PACs are independent organizations which try to influence an election by lending support to candidates, legislation or ballot initiatives. In the 2012 elections, American Crossroads spent about $105 million and its sister organizatio,n Crossroads GPS, spent $70.8 million.
Former Bush political adviser Karl Rove will stay on board to advise Victory project, which will be led by Steven Law, the president of both American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.