On Tuesday, Linda McMahon, former CEO of WWE, won her primary to claim the Republican nomination for Joe Lieberman's Senate seat.
This is the second time McMahon has won a Connecticut Senate primary, and the second time she has done it by vulgarly outspending her rival (in this case, former Republican congressman Christopher Shays).
In 2010, McMahon spent nearly $50 million of her personal fortune in a campaign that ultimately led to a 12-point defeat to Democrat Richard Blumenthal. Back then, McMahon's loss was mainly attributed to her failure to attract female voters, who were repelled by McMahon's connections to the misogynistic world of pro wrestling. Her remarks about minimum wage during an endorsement by the National Federation of Independent Business didn't help either:
Ted Mann, The Day: Should [the minimum wage] be reduced now? Since businesses are struggling, as you all described? Would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?
McMahon: "We have got minimum wages in states, we have got minimum wages in the (federal) government, and I think we ought to look at all of those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them. I think we should get input from our business community. We should listen to our small business operators and we should hear what it is they have to say and how it's impacting their businesses and make some of those decisions." (Here's an extended transcript from TheDay.com. McMahon's campaign later argued that her remarks had been misinterpreted.)
McMahon and her staff have presumably learned a few lessons after the 2010 thumping. This year, she released a six-point economic plan that promises to cut taxes for the middle class, repeal the Affordable Care Act, encourage oil and gas drilling in the United States. It includes lines like: "If the American household can cut back, surely the federal government can find a way to save 1% - just one penny for every one dollar."
In addition to avoiding slip-ups, this time around McMahon is aggressively courting female voters:
McMahon will face Democrat Chris Murphy in November.