Conservative donors fueling the civil war within the Republican Party are showing no signs of surrender, despite recent losses in primaries and mounting criticism that the groups to which they are giving might damage the GOP’s prospects at winning control of the Senate. The top conservative groups — Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund — have spent more than $10 million on ads and direct contributions to endorsed candidates in 2014 so far, but they’ve won only in races where establishment groups were largely on the sidelines or supported the same candidate.
Donors funding these outside groups aren’t demanding their money back or questioning how it was spent, even after Sen. Thad Cochran eked out a win in Mississippi’s GOP runoff, which had widely been seen as the best opportunity for tea party groups to defeat the establishment this year. In fact, those donors are willing to give even more. Senate Conservatives Fund is still collecting contributions for a legal fund for Chris McDaniel, whom Cochran defeated — the latest indication that the money backing the conservative insurgency is unlikely to dry up anytime soon. Donors rejected the idea that ensuring a Republican majority in the Senate was more important than which Republicans made it through the primaries, saying in interviews that they will continue writing checks in hopes of eventually electing more staunch conservatives and libertarians focused on reducing the size of government.