Linda McMahon lost BIG in Connecticut. Not even close. She spent 42 million to win this seat and was destroyed. Such an embarrassment:
Chris Murphy tops Linda McMahon in Conn. Senate race
Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy handily won the Connecticut Senate race, beating Republican Linda McMahon, even after the former wrestling executive spent more than $42 million of her own money in her bid for the seat.
The Associated Press called the race for Murphy shortly after the polls closed in Connecticut at 8 p.m.
The Connecticut Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman emerged as one of the hottest races in the country, despite the state’s heavy Democratic demographics. McMahon spent millions trying to reshape her image and saturated the airwaves with attack ads. Following the August primaries she managed to tighten the race, polling neck and neck with Murphy for several weeks. But Murphy eventually broke open a strong lead toward the end of October and finished the job with relative ease on election night.
Murphy didn’t exactly give Democrats a smooth path to victory. He had a series of missteps, forcing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to send staff and financial support to defend the seat. The three-term congressman struggled to respond to McMahon’s charges he had received a “generous mortgage” after he was sued for nonpayment of rent in 2003 and for foreclosure in 2007.
But Murphy had a series of strong showings in debates and enlisted an army of big name Democrats to campaign with him in the state. Former President Bill Clinton, Sens. Barbara Mikulski, Mary Landrieu, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer and Chris Coons were all among those who campaigned for Murphy. And in the closing week of the campaign, President Barack Obama cut a direct-to-camera ad for Murphy.
And Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who beat McMahon by 12 percentage points in 2010 and is the most popular politician in the state, was among Murphy’s most vocal and active supporters, accompanying him practically everywhere in the final weeks of the race.
The campaign became increasingly contentious in the final days and hours before the polls closed. McMahon’s campaign had engaged in an intense “get out the vote” effort in Connecticut’s cities, urging voters to split the ticket and support her and President Barack Obama. They passed out a sample ballot listing a vote at the top of the ticket for Obama and a vote for McMahon on the “Independent Party” line. McMahon had qualified for both the Independent Party and Republican lines, and Murphy’s name appeared on both the Democratic line and the Working Families Party line.
The McMahon campaign accused Murphy staffers of telling voters it was illegal for them to split a ticket, even though they were not able to provide any evidence to back up that charge.
Workers wore purple T-shirts that read, “I support Obama and McMahon,” and that looked similar to the shirts worn by members of the Service Employees International Union — Murphy supporters. Some workers told the New Haven Independent the McMahon campaign was paying them and they were not committed to voting for her.
In 2010, McMahon spent $50 million in her campaign against Blumenthal.