Sheldon Adelson's Lousy Election Bets

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Sheldon Adelson's Lousy Election Bets

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam dropped more than $57 million on super-PACs in this election, becoming America's most famous conservative megadonors (besides the Kochs). So what did they get in return for their investment? A look at the groups they funded and the races they tried to influence shows that overall, their return on investment was about 40 percent: Only two out of every five races these super-PACs spent on had the outcome the outside spending group desired. The two biggest Adelson-backed losers were Republican presidental hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, to whose super-PACs the couple gave a total of $40 million. In the congressional races that Adelon-backed super-PACs spent on, the results were decidedly mixed. (A few of those races remain undecided.)

Here's the full tally of those races so far:

Adelson donationSuper-PACCandidate supported/opposed by super-PACOutcomeROI
$20 millionWinning Our FuturePro-Newt Gingrich (R, president)He lostBad bet
$20 million Restore Our FuturePro-Mitt Romney (R, president)He lostBad bet
$5 million Congressional Leadership FundAnti-Betty Sue Sutton (D, House, Ohio)She lostGood bet
  Anti-Pete Gallego (D, House, Tx)He wonBad bet
  Anti-Kathleen Hochul (D, House, New York)She lostGood bet
  Anti-Brad Schneider (D, House, Illinois)He wonBad bet
  Anti-Patrick Kreitlow (D, House, Wisconsin)He lostGood bet
  Anti-Shelley Adler (D, House, New Jersey)She lostGood bet
  Anti-Lois Capps (D, House, California)She wonBad bet
  Anti-Leonard Boswell (D, House, Michigan)He lostGood bet
  Anti-John Barrow (D, House, Georgia)He wonBad bet
  Anti-Val Demings (D, House, Florida)He lostGood bet
  Anti-Krysten Sinema (D, House, Arizona)She lostGood bet
  Anti-Mike McIntyre (D, House, North Carolina)Undecided 
  Anti-Gary McDowell (D, House, Michigan)Undecided 
$5 millionYG Action FundAnti-Larry Kissell (D, House, North Carolina)He lostGood bet
  Anti-John Tierney (D, House, Massachusetts)He wonBad bet
  Anti-William Enyart (D, House, Illinois)He wonBad bet
  Anti-Mark Critz (D, House, Pennsylvania)He lostGood bet
  Anti-Scott Kreadle (R, House, North Carolina)He lostGood bet
  Anti-Lois Frankel (D, House, Florida)She wonBad bet
  Anti-John Barrow (D, House, Georgia)He wonBad bet
  Pro-Richard Hudson (R, House, North Carolina)He wonGood bet
  Pro-Adam Kinzinger (R, House, Illinois)He wonGood bet
  Anti-Mike McIntyre (D, House, North Carolina)Undecided 
  Pro-Allen West (R, House, Florida)Undecided 
$2 millionFreedom PACPro-Connie Mack (R, Senate, Florida)He lostBad bet
  Anti-Patrick Murphy (D, House, Florida)Undecided 
$1.5 millionIndependence Virginia PACPro-George Allen (R, Senate, Virginia)He lostBad bet
$1 millionEnding Spending Action FundAnti-Barack Obama (D, president)He wonBad bet
  Pro-Mitt Romney (R, president)He lostBad bet
  Pro-Deb Fischer (R, Senate, Nebraska)She wonGood bet
  Anti-Bob Kerrey (D, Senate, Nebraska)He lostGood bet
  Pro-Josh Mandel (R, Senate, Ohio)He lostBad bet
  Anti-Sherrod Brown (D, Senate, Ohio)He wonBad bet
  Anti-Richard Carmona (D, Senate, Arizona)He lostGood bet
  Pro-Jeff Flake (R, Senate, Arizona)He wonGood bet
  Pro-Ted Cruz (R, Senate, Texas)He wonGood bet
  Anti-Tim Kaine (D, Senate, Virginia)He wonBad bet
  Anti-Jon Burning (R, Senate, Nebraska)He lostGood bet
  Pro-Connie Mack (R, Senate, Florida)He lostBad bet
  Pro-George Allen (R, Senate, Virginia)He lostBad bet
  Pro-Richard Mourdock (R, Senate, Indiana)He lostBad bet
  Pro-Tommy Thompson (R, Senate, Wisconsin)He lostBad bet
  Pro-Dean Heller (R, Senate, Nevada)He wonGood bet
$1 millionPatriot Prosperity PACPro-Shmuley Boteach (R, House, New Jersey)He lostBad bet
  Pro-Joe Kyrillos (R, Senate, New Jersey)He lostBad bet
$1 millionTreasure Coast Jobs CoalitionPro-Allen West (R, House, Florida)Undecided 
$250,000Conservative RenewalPro-David Dewhurst (R, Senate, Texas)He lostBad bet
$250,000Texas Conservatives FundPro-David Dewhurst (R, Senate, Texas)He lostBad bet
$190,000Hispanic Leadership FundPro-Mitt Romney (R, president)He lostBad bet
$57.7 million spent total   42% good bets, 58% bad bets

 Sources: Center for Public IntegrityCenter for Responsive PoliticsSunlight Foundation