Sheldon Adelson had a bad night

And so did other conservative billionaires

By Jillian Rayfield
Published November 7, 2012 8:47PM (EST)

After pouring millions into the 2012 elections, conservative billionaires have little to show for it.

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate who gave Mitt Romney's super PAC $20 million, also backed a heap of Republican candidates who lost last night. The Forward reports:

"In Virginia, Tim Kaine won the governorship over George Allen, whose super PAC had received $1.5 million from Adelson. In Florida, Bill Nelson won the Senate seat over Connie Mack, who Adelson had backed with $1 million. And in New Jersey, Adelson-backed Orthodox Jewish Republican Shmuley Boteach lost to Democratic incumbent Congressman Bill Pascrell."

In addition, Adelson backed Allen West, who wound up losing his House seat in Florida. The one bright spot for Adelson was Shelley Berkley's loss to Republican Dean Heller in Nevada's Senate race.

The Washington Post also reports that despite the unprecedented money poured into the races by rich conservatives like Adelson and super PACS, there was not much to show for it:

The effect of all the conservative cash on Senate races was a resounding failure, with only deep-red Nebraska remaining clearly in the GOP column as of Wednesday morning. Crossroads, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other GOP-leaning groups spent at least $87 million targeting Democrats Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Tim Kaine (Virginia), Jon Tester (Montana) and Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), according to FEC data; all emerged victorious on Tuesday.

The Post adds that despite fears that the money would impact the outcome of the races, the onslaught of ads from both sides reached a "dreary equilibrium" that didn't wind up having much of an effect.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Conservatives Mitt Romney Sheldon Adelson