Blumenthal-McMahon: The GOP Dog That Didn’t Bark

Linda McMahon. | Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindamcmahon/3910083672/">Linda McMahon for Senate</a> (<a href="http://www.creativecommons.org">Creative Commons</a>).

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The Republicans were supposed to make the Connecticut Senate race between popular attorney general Richard Blumenthal and former wrestling CEO Linda McMahon competitive. McMahon had the money: She spent $50 million on the race. She picked the right year: It’s a great cycle for Republicans. And she got lucky: Blumenthal ran into trouble over misstatements he made about his military record. But even all that wasn’t enough for McMahon to beat Blumenthal. The race was called just as the polls closed, and Blumenthal will finally get the promotion people have been predicting he’d get for decades.

So what went wrong? Connecticut is one of the few states where lots of voters still like President Barack Obama. Blumenthal ran a cautious campaign, and McMahon’s barrage of ads may have actually turned off some voters. By the end, McMahon’s approval ratings were upside-down. Voters just didn’t like her that much.

One real test of whether this is a Republican wave will be whether Blumenthal’s downballot allies—Dems like Chris Murphy and Jim Himes—hold onto their seats. If they lose, it wasn’t just Linda McMahon who was the problem for the GOP in Connecticut. If they lose, well, ex-Rep. Rob Simmons—who McMahon beat in the primary—will probably be saying “I told you so.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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