Karl Rove-linked groups haul in $12 million

Story highlights

  • Four groups linked to Rove raise millions
  • Collect more cash than four years ago

(CNN)The quartet of powerful outside groups allied with Republican strategist Karl Rove raised $12 million during the first half of 2015, a spokesman confirmed to CNN.

Rove's Crossroads network -- which includes two super PACs and two political nonprofit group -- has been one of the biggest Republican spenders in elections since recent Supreme Court decisions unleashed a torrent of outside spending. The groups are expected to play a prominent role in attacking Hillary Clinton through television advertising should she become the nominee.
The haul -- slightly more than the $10.7 million Crossroads raised during the first half of the year before the 2012 presidential election -- indicates the groups should be in good position to do that. Rove's American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, the Senate Leadership Fund and One Nation together had nearly $14 million on hand as of the end of June. The Wall Street Journal first reported the numbers Sunday.
    The groups spent about $175 million in 2012, but have faced increasing skepticism from donors and strategists since then after they failed to defeat Barack Obama. Meanwhile, the space for groups raising and spending unlimited donations has grown significantly more crowded, with the Chamber of Commerce and a coterie of conservative groups organized by the Koch Brothers playing leading roles in the 2014 midterms.
    Crossroads, with political ties to Senate leadership, has also historically spent big to back establishment Republican candidates, especially incumbents beating back challenger grassroots candidates.