Karl Rove’s donors wondering where their billions went

Karl Rove under fire
by Kenneth P. Vogel

Karl Rove is feeling the heat.

The face of the historic $1 billion plan to unseat President Barack Obama and turn the Senate Republican, Rove now finds himself the leading scapegoat for its failure. And he’s scrambling to protect his status as a top GOP money man by convincing disappointed donors to his Crossroads groups that he did the best he could with their $300 million.

Sources tell POLITICO that some donors have called Crossroads officials to ask how their polling could have been so far off, while others are openly grumbling that the groups should have spent more on the ground game. Rival operatives — long frustrated by Rove’s dominance of big GOP money — are seizing on the discontent, questioning whether he’s hurting the cause and privately urging donors to shut him out.

During a secret Thursday afternoon conference call with his benefactors, Rove laid out the analytics behind his assertions to donors that a massive late-game advertising push would expand the electoral map into Pennsylvania and deliver the White House and the Senate.

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