early and often

Linda McMahon Loses Second Connecticut Senate Race After Spending $100 Million

In her second try at a Senate seat from Connecticut, pro-wrestling magnate and Republican Linda McMahon has lost again, but not before spending a total of nearly $100 million running for office. The Hartford Courant is calling the race for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, with 60 percent of the vote to McMahon’s 39 percent; the Associated Press also called it for Murphy. McMahon’s loss takes one of the four Senate seats Republicans need to gain a majority off the table, so it’s a blow to them, but it’s also a pretty hefty financial blow to the candidate, who spent nearly $44 million running against the relatively unknown Murphy on top of the $50 million she spent running unsuccessfully against Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in 2010. The Courant points out that “Murphy raised about $10 million and outside groups flooded the state with an addition $10 million,” making the race the state’s most expensive. It also got pretty desperate.

Toward the end, Politico reports, McMahon started appealing to voters to split the ticket, voting for Obama and McMahon both. “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.” Workers reportedly wore T-shirts that read “I support Obama and McMahon,” which makes it hard to imagine McMahon will get much GOP backing if she tries for a third run.

But after two very expensive attempts at the seat, it’s also hard to imagine McMahon will go for a third. She can afford all this — the Los Angeles Times reports she’s worth $232 million after helping her husband Vince McMahon build WWE up to the juggernaut that it is — but she’s averaging $47 million per losing campaign right now. That’s a very expensive record.

McMahon Loses Conn. Senate Race, $100 Million