The GOP, its candidates and related groups spent a whopping $65 million on ads against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the 2010 election cycle -- the most money spent targeting a congressional leader in 14 years.
The sum, spent from Jan. 1 through last week's election, paid for 161,203 ads that went after Pelosi, according to a new analysis for CNN
by Campaign Media Analysis Group.
"Not since 1996 and Newt Gingrich has a speaker been the target of so many elections ads...[that] put Pelosi front and center in the midterms," said CMAG president Evan Tracey.
It was part of a coordinated effort by Republicans to link as many Democratic candidates to the increasingly unpopular speaker. A recent CNN poll found just 26 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Pelosi.
Individual campaigns accounted for about half of the $65 million, with outside conservative groups chipping in $22 million and the Republican party paying more than $8 million, CNN said.
The ads appeared to be effective in Pennsylvania, where five House Democrats were defeated. Up to $8.46 million was spent on over 14,000 ads in the Keystone State alone, the analysis found.