Grassroots conservative groups now outraising big GOP establishment organizations

Four Republican-leaning groups with close ties to the party’s leadership in Congress — Crossroads and its “super PAC” affiliate, the Congressional Leadership Fund, and Young Guns Action — raised a combined $7.7 million in 2013. By contrast, four conservative organizations that have battled Republican candidates deemed too moderate or too yielding on spending issues — FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth Action Fund, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Tea Party Patriots — raised a total of $20 million in 2013, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed on Friday.

“This is by far the biggest nonelection year we’ve ever had,” said Matt Hoskins, the executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “It shows how committed people are to electing true conservatives and to advancing conservative principles.”…

Some of the decline in fund-raising by major Republican groups is also being driven by the fragmentation of the party’s outside spending infrastructure. Mr. Rove’s battles with rebellious conservatives have drawn enough controversy that some candidates do not want to be openly associated with Crossroads. Instead, they are being backed by smaller groups, often founded by the candidates’ donors and former aides, that focus on a single race.