The GOP spent a ton of money through a bunch of organizations, including Super PACs, that was flat out wasted. The Newt Gingrich Super PAC was just a sign of things to come it seems.
The excuse that is going to be used is that had these groups not spent the money, the GOP would have suffered major losses.
For the past several months, even before the massive barrage of spending started, the GOP led or was even in the generic congressional ballot. There was never a real danger that the GOP would lose the House despite Democratic bluster. The RGA, with little help from the major Super PACs, expanded the Republican gubernatorial margin to the historic level of 30.
But the GOP damaged itself badly in the Senate. It was not just Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin as much as the GOP might like to point fingers at them. Scott Brown, Tommy Thompson, etc., etc., etc.
Senate Republicans have consistently patted themselves on the back in their social club, found hard in primaries against conservatives, and nominated some seriously crappy candidates. Will the Senate GOP actually clean up its act? It has left many of the base uninspired and unwilling to help. Because of it, the GOP turned to rich donors who tend to look down their noses at the base. They set up outside groups.
The outside groups need to have a serious accounting. For months they touted their get out the vote efforts, ground game, ad operations, polling operations, voter contact, etc. and they really were full of b.s. for the most part. From national tea party groups that have mostly been infighting to some of the major 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) groups, much was donated and much was squandered with little to no oversight.
One of the most effective groups was American Majority Action, which actually contacted live human beings and didn’t just count doors at which no one answered. And what did they get in return? Another outside group filmed American Majority Action’s work, then produced a video claiming it was their own work. There must be a reckoning. [correction: I got my groups confused. Madison Project, one of the other highly effective groups out there this time, was the group that had its work filmed by another group looking to take credit. My apologies.]
There must be a reckoning for how the GOP does business with groups that fundraise off the names of politicians and use all the money for overhead that includes luxurious travel and hotels.
Additionally, the Romney team objectively failed to put on a decent ground game and the supposedly supplemental ground game from outside groups was ephemeral. In 2008, one of the smartest things Barack Obama did was keep his staff in Chicago and use his team, not the Democrats’ usual hucksters.
As long as the GOP keeps relying on the usual hucksters, charlatans, and con artists it’ll keep getting the same results.