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

Linda McMahon. | Flickr/<a href="">Linda McMahon for Senate</a> (<a href="">Creative Commons</a>).

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend