WASHINGTON: Karl Rove and his investors were the biggest losers on election day.
The Republican strategist created the model for outside-money groups that raised and spent more than $1 billion on the November 6 elections - many of which saw almost no return for their money.
Mr Rove, through his two political outfits, American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, backed unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with $US127 million ($122 million) on more than 82,000 television spots, according to Kantar Media's CMAG, a New York advertising tracker.
Down the ballot, 10 of the 12 Senate candidates and four of the nine House candidates the Rove groups supported also lost their races.
The results have angered some Republicans, who blame Mr Rove for ''sidelining conservatives''. ''Right now there is stunned disbelief that Republicans fared so poorly after all the money they invested,'' said Brent Bozell, president of ForAmerica, non-profit group that advocates for Christian values in politics. ''If I had 1/100th of Karl Rove's money, I would have been more productive than he was.''
Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter saying: ''Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.''
The election day results showed Mr Rove's strategy of bringing in huge donations from a few wealthy benefactors and spending that money almost completely on television advertising failed.
The Centre for Responsive Politics estimates the two Crossroads groups spent about $US176 million, making them the top non-candidate and non-party spender of the election. ''Crossroads was a failure and Rove's core strategy of base-centric GOP politics is a failure,'' said a senior Republican consultant not favourably inclined to Rove. ''There are not enough white men for the Rove view to work any more. His time is past.''
Democrats also piled on. ''If Crossroads were a business, and Rove was the CEO, he'd be fired for getting a poor return on his investment,'' the New York senator Charles Schumer, the chamber's third-ranking Democrat, said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.
The Houston home builder Bob Perry gave $US7.5 million to Mr Rove's American Crossroads and $US8 million to Restore Our Future, a super-PAC (political action committee) that supported Mr Romney.
A spokesman, Anthony Holm, said Mr Perry had no regrets.
Bloomberg, The Washington Post