CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An aggressive conservative group linked to former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove is launching a get-out-the-vote blitz in West Virginia to help Republican John Raese in his bid for U.S. Senate.
The group, American Crossroads, says the effort will be extensive and will use enhanced voter files and data on early and absentee voting patterns to target Republican and independent voters with mailers and phone calls.
The group is one of the biggest of the new so-called "super PACs" - political action committees that can raise unlimited amounts of money from people and corporations to advocate for or against candidates, thanks to recent court decisions.
Raese faces Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin and two other candidates in the November election.
"West Virginia has emerged as a key state in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate and we are expanding our plans accordingly," American Crossroads President and CEO Steven Law said in a news release. "West Virginia needs a Senator who will stand up unequivocally to Barack Obama's agenda."
A 72-hour "mail and phone call blitz" is planned prior to Election Day, according to the release.
The Mountain State is the ninth where American Crossroads is investing. The others are Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire and Washington.
The Center for Responsive Politics says American Crossroads, together with its affiliated advocacy group, was the biggest outside spender in American politics last week, pouring $3.4 million into mailings, TV ad production and placements, and other expenditures in Senate races across the country.
"They, in some cases, have been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single day," said Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the center. "They're extremely aggressive and they have really used this tool that's been created in American politics, to its extent."
Two recent court decisions have led to the formation of these new super PACs, Levinthal said. One was the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision in January, which let corporations and unions spend unlimited amounts of money to back or oppose federal candidates.
Then, a March ruling by a federal appeals court let independent groups raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for or against candidates.
Now, "these types of organizations are effectively free of burden when it comes to restrictions on how much they can raise or spend or what they can or cannot say," Levinthal said.