In Connecticut, businesswoman Linda McMahon easily won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate last night, defeating former Congressman Christopher Shays by 73% to 27% in a light turnout election.
The incumbent, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the former Democrat who now considers himself an independent, is retiring, thereby creating an open seat. The former WWE CEO will face Rep. Chris Murphy, who won the Democrat primary, in the November general election.
This is the second time around for McMahon, who was defeated by now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal in 2010 in the election to replace Sen. Chris Dodd (who also decided against running for reelection) despite Blumenthal’s bogus story about serving in Vietnam.
Connecticut is a blue state to be sure, but McMahon is a lot better known than Murphy, perhaps because of her prior run for office against Blumenthal, and may have a better shot at getting to Washington in this election cycle, especially given the dismal economic conditions. Unlike McMahon, Murphy is a career politician with no private sector business experience.
According to the Hartford Courant, the former wrestling executive has adopted a different campaign strategy for the 2012 election:
McMahon spent more than $50 million telling her story in 2010. This time, she is refining her image, courting women voters and focusing almost exclusively on jobs. [McMahon campaign manager Corry] Bliss called her jobs plan “the centerpiece of our campaign.”
Along these same lines, Businessweek explains that “This time around, she has focused on her grassroots operation, building a network with visits to people’s living rooms and tours of small businesses.”
Linda McMahon is married to Vince McMahon, the WWE impresario who is well known to pro wrestling fans for his antics on WWE TV broadcasts.
In this clip from WTNH New Haven last night, Linda McMahon describes her campaign platform: