Big money

The Sunlight Foundation reports that Harry Reid won reelection despite facing an overwhelmingly lopsided flow of big money pouring into the state. For every $1 sent into Nevada in support of Reid, about $7 arrived to beat him, the Foundation reported.

The exact figures are $1,180,711.81 to $7,264,110.73.

Two Karl Rove-affiliated groups alone spent more than $3 million trying to defeat Reid—$2,585,730.81 by Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies and $1,207,957.15 by American Crossroads.

At least 19 groups sent money to defeat Reid, usually in five figures, others in six or seven figures.

Eleven sent money to help him, usually in much smaller amounts. None of his supporters hit seven figures, and the six-figure contributions were usually smaller than those opposing him. The largest six-figure amount of Reid-support money was $595,680 from VoteVets, a group of Iraq War veterans. One group sent money to help Reid in three figures—$123.10 from Environment America. MoveOn sent $4,781.36.

In money the candidates raised for themselves, Reid more than overcame Angle. Her fundraising finished up strong at the end, but she paid consultants so much to raise money for her that the impact of her take was blunted.

The source of much of the anti-Reid money was Wall Street, which this year cut its contributions to Democratic groups because of legislation to curb financial abuses that led to the Wall Street meltdown.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts cannot be curbed by Congress, unleashing a tidal wave of money on this year’s campaign. Citizens United, the right wing group at issue in the court case, spent $209,492 in Nevada this year trying to beat Reid.