Analysis: Planned Parenthood saw near perfect return on election spending

Planned Parenthood's political wing trounced other groups with a near perfect return on its election spending, according to a new numbers review.

The Sunlight Foundation found that Planned Parenthood's advocacy arm and super-PAC spent about $5 million and $7 million, respectively, to oppose Republicans and support Democrats in the general election.

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In the end, the two groups saw returns on investment of about 98 and 99 percent, according to Sunlight.

The figures come as election-watchers pick apart the most expensive cycle in history. Republicans' loss in the presidential race and failure to claim the Senate came as a surprise to outside donors, many of whom spent millions to ensure GOP victories.

Planned Parenthood's political wing played an outsized role in the general election, compared to cycles past. The flood of political activity came as Republicans vowed to end Planned Parenthood's federal funding as a healthcare provider for low-income women. Conservatives argue that while the law technically bans public funds from supporting abortions, taxpayer money need not flow to a group that performs the procedures.

The election covered a wide range of women's health issues in addition to public funds for Planned Parenthood, giving the group ample chance to advocate in favor of abortion rights and access to free birth control.

The only outside groups that came close to beating Planned Parenthood's return on investment were Majority PAC, which fought for Democratic Senate candidates, with a success rate of about 88 percent, and the Service Employees International Union PEA-Federal, with about an 85 percent success rate.

Much further down on Sunlight's list were conservative groups. Americans for Tax Reform was on the higher end of that range, with a rate of return of about 57 percent, according to the report. American Crossroads, Karl Rove's 527 organization, had a rate of return of 1.3 percent, the report found.

Sunlight did not produce a score for the Susan B. Anthony List, Planned Parenthood's main counterpoint on the abortion debate this cycle.