Democrat Chris Murphy has delivered yet another a smack-down to former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, a Republican who for the second straight Senate election spent tens of millions of her own money in a failed bid to represent Connecticut.
“This is a great night for Connecticut and for middle class Americans across the country,” Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said. “Chris Murphy went up against a mountain of money and beat an opponent who spent more than anyone else in history to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.”
Murphy is currently a third-term congressman representing his state. He will be filling the seat left by longtime Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent who is retiring this year.
McMahon, who grew her fortune through her decades in the world of professional wrestling, reportedly spent $44 million of it to contest this race, dominating the airwaves for weeks in the Connecticut and New York media markets.
Murphy spent $10 million, much of it coming from outside groups eager to defend the seat in a year Republicans hoped they could win enough to achieve a majority. But like 2010, when she lost her bid to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Sen. Christopher Dodd, McMahon learns that money can’t necessarily buy a ticket to Washington, especially in a faithfully blue state like Connecticut.
McMahon spent more than $50 million in 2010, before losing to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
All told, this year’s race was the most expense Senate contest in Connecticut history. The Hartford Courant said Sunday that both campaigns have “been little more than relentless mud-fests of false charges that insult the intelligence of state voters.” The state's largest paper nonetheless endorsed Murphy for his “greater grasp of federal issues.”
The race was considered so critical, that it drew national attention and appearances in the state from former President Bill Clinton and President Obama, who also cut an advertisement in support of Murphy. It was the only TV ad made for a Senate candidate by the president in the 2012 cycle.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy alluded to McMahon's millions in his own statement Tuesday night: "Tonight's victory by Chris shows that we have elections in Connecticut, not auctions.''