11/15/2010 11:14 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Secret Spending Could Drive Wedge Between Democrats For 2012

With the midterms wreckage still smoldering, 150 or so Democratic donors will meet at Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel this week to ruminate on what led to the party's 2010 "shellacking" and, more important, discuss how to beat back the ascendant Republicans in 2012. Atop their to-do list is figuring out how to counter the deluge of political spending by outside conservative groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the American Action Network, and Karl Rove's American Crossroads, which poured more than twice as much cash into midterm races as their Democratic counterparts did. The critical questions: should they fight fire with fire, and can they?

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