Linda McMahon was been rejected by Connecticut voters for the second time in two years as their U.S. senator. McMahon lost to Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy in the most expensive race in the state's history.
Despite the setback, and the millions of dollars invested, the question remains, will Linda McMahon try to win a Senate seat for a third time in 2016?
In McMahon's failed 2012 bid, she spent $42 million on the campaign, reports The Associated Press. Murphy could not even come close to that number, only able to raise $20 million. Much of the disparity was due to McMahon's personal wealth. She is the former CEO of World Wresting Entertainment, which is owned by her husband, Vince McMahon.
McMahon had won the Republican nomination for the second time in 2012 but again came up short. In 2010, McMahon spent $50 million campaigning against Democrat Richard Blumenthal.
For McMahon, the 2012 Senate race was a replay. In 2010, the Democratic incumbent, Chris Dodd, retired. In 2011, Democrat-turned-independent Joseph Lieberman announced his retirement, setting up the battle between Murphy and McMahon after they both won their primaries.
In just two years, McMahon has spent $92 million on failed Senate bids. Most of the money was her own, reports The New York Times. For some, the constant bombardment of political ads by McMahon led them to vote for Murphy. The sentiment among McMahon's critics was that you could not buy your way into the Senate.
While McMahon's wrestling background did not play as much of a role in her 2012 bid as it did in 2010, there were still plenty of concerns about her role in the WWE, not so much about the value of wrestling but the safety concerns. There have been several infamous cases of wrestlers dying young, along with the concerns for traumatic head injuries that could lead to depression and suicide later in life.
Another criticism leveled at McMahon was her use of paid campaign workers. The New Haven Independent reported on how her campaign paid for people to stand at polling stations, many of whom were not going to vote for McMahon herself. There were also reports of other political tricks McMahon was trying to pull that could confuse voters. McMahon's emphasis on attack ads turned off voters as well, notes The New York Times.
Despite these setbacks, McMahon has enough money to fund a third bid for Senate if she desires. More importantly, McMahon could learn some lessons from 2012, much like she did in 2010, and apply them to a smaller Senate bid in the future. For the future McMahon could reduce the number of ads, focus more on policy and establish herself in the political scene of Connecticut.