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SuperPAC strikes out despite big expenditure -- including in Illinois 8th

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APTOPIX Duckworth 2012.jpg
Tammy Duckworth celebrates with husband Bryan Bowlsbey after defeating Rep. Joe Walsh in Elk Grove Village on Tuesday in the 8th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

In the waning days of the campaign, Freedom Works dumped more than $1 million into the 8th congressional race to stave off a challenge to Joe Walsh from Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

In all, the SuperPAC plowed nearly $3 million into the campaign.

Ultimately, it didn't pay off. Duckworth beat Walsh by 10 percentage points.

Elsewhere, Freedomworks has a "low batting average," according to, which ranked it the sixth top-spending super PAC this election by plowing $19 million into campaigns.

"It's easily the largest of the non-institutional super PACs, falling behind Romney-supporting Restore Our Future and American Crossroads, Obama-backing Priorities USA, and the spending powerhouses for congressional Democrats, House Majority PAC and Majority PAC," Opensecrets said.

"Every race it spent more than $2 million on went for the Democratic candidate and not the tea party one," according to the group.

From Opensecrets:

FreedomWorks spent $2.8 million to help Joe Walsh defeat Tammy Duckworth in Illinois' 8th Congressional District, and Duckworth won handily. The same happened with the $2.7 million FreedomWorks spent trying to help Richard Mourdock -- the Indiana tea party candidate who defeated veteran Sen. Dick Lugar in the GOP primary -- defeat Democrat Joe Donnelly; as well as the $2.2 million it paid out on behalf of Ohio senatorial candidate Josh Mandel, who lost to incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown.

With its fifth-highest outlay, $1.3 million, FreedomWorks finally backed a winner, supporting Republican Rep. Jeff Flake for the Arizona Senate seat in a tight race.

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