Give Linda McMahon credit: When she started out in her quest for Chris Dodd’s former Connecticut Senate seat, she wasn’t given much of a serious chance, and trailed badly in the polls. She was a successful businesswoman, sure, but her business was fake wrestling. Facing popular attorney general Richard Blumenthal in a state with Democratic proclivities, and McMahon’s candidacy seemed fairly quixotic.
But, at least for a while, McMahon made a competitive race out of it by playing up her business bona fides and downplaying the ridiculousness of the WWE. Blumenthal, of course, did his part by pretending, on multiple occasions, to have fought in Vietnam. He managed to survive that scandal, but stumbled again later in the campaign, when, during a debate, it took him about half an hour to describe how to create a job, a clip McMahon happily replayed in TV ads across the state.
It wasn’t enough though. Despite spending nearly $50 million of her own personal fortune into the race, McMahon faced her own skeletons — like dead wrestlers — and the race was called for Blumenthal soon after the polls closed.
This was one of the seats the GOP hoped to flip if it was going to wrest the Senate majority away from the Democrats. It might turn out to be a huge night for the GOP, but along with Joe Manchin winning in West Virginia, it no longer seems possible that they’ll win the Senate.
*Note: We were legally obligated to put some kind of wrestling pun in the headline of this post.