National Rifle Association shut out on Election Day

The Sunlight Foundation ran the numbers and found that after spending nearly $11 million in the general election, the National Rifle Association got a less than one percent return on its investment this cycle. That is, less than one percent of the money went toward the desired result. 

The group supported 27 winning candidates, but most of its money was spent targeting winning Democrats (including over $7 million against President Obama) or bolstering losing Republicans (including $1.8 million supporting Mitt Romney and $500,000 backing Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock). 

The NRA's lobbying arm, the  NRA Institute for Legislative Action, fared only a bit better -- 10 percent of its money went to winning candidates. 

The two groups advised by Karl Rove, American Crossroads and its sister group Crossroads GPS, got only about a six percent return on their investment this cycle. 

Many Democratic-leaning groups were far more successful, as many of the most expensive contests went Democrats' way.

Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood Action Fund both came close to 100 percent return on investment. The League of Conservation Voters, a big spender this cycle, was at 78 percent. The Service Employees International Union came in at 84 percent, the labor super PAC Worker's Voice at 76 percent. The AFL-CIO was less successful at 45 percent -- the group spent heavily on the Arizona and Nevada Senate races, two GOP victories. Majority PAC, Senate Democrats' super PAC, was at 88 percent. 

On the conservative side, the American Action Network put a lot of money into some Republican House wins and comes in at 60 percent. The anti-tax Club for Growth Action was at a relatively strong 41 percent. 

Independence USA PAC, the super PAC formed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) in part to counteract the NRA's influence, clocked in at 46 percent. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · November 8, 2012