This is the second of what will be a regular "Longshots" feature. "Longshots" are The Upshot's longer reports on major issues of the day.
It's a nondescript office building just two blocks from the White House — but in politics, it's ground zero for what many are referring to as the "shadow GOP." On the 12th floor of this New York Avenue office complex, four separate conservative groups are collectively planning to spend at least $70 million to help Republicans win back control of Congress this November.
But the effort isn't limited to 2010. In an operation modeled after the ambitious fundraising, organizing, and research infrastructure that Democrats built up during the George W. Bush years, GOP political strategists are looking to achieve the same goal that their Democratic counterparts did in 2006: They want to win back the White House.
The four groups — American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, American Action Network and the American Action Forum — are all part of a larger GOP network assembled in recent months to help rebuild the Republican brand. While dozens of former GOP lawmakers and seasoned Republican strategists are involved, the effort largely springs from the work of two former Bush aides: Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman who later served as White House counselor, and Karl Rove, the man Bush once described as the "architect" of his presidency.
Read More »from A guide to the ‘shadow GOP’: the groups that may define the 2010 and 2012 elections