Elections

Chris Murphy wins Connecticut Senate race

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy will be the next senator from Connecticut.

Murphy beat Republican former wrestling mogul Linda McMahon for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman.

The Associated Press called the race for Murphy just 30 minutes after the polls closed.

Though Connecticut is a Democratic state, a Murphy victory was not always a foregone conclusion. McMahon leveraged her vast personal fortune to hit Murphy with a barrage of ads, defining her opponent – a congressman who was not particularly well known outside of his district – before the primary was even over.

The tactic worked, according to early polls, which often showed McMahon running ahead of her opponent.

Murphy continued to take a beating when the news broke that he had missed multiple mortgage payments and been sued for foreclosure.

But Murphy, with a sizeable amount of help from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, managed to right his ship. After hitting Murphy for his past financial troubles, McMahon had to contend with the revelation that she and her husband, now multi-millionaires, had never repaid creditors from their 1976 bankruptcy filing.

In the final days of the race, Murphy got a boost from President Obama, who cut an ad for him. Republicans called it a desperate move to bolster an underperforming candidate. Democratic strategist Ed Peavy called it “lights out for McMahon.”

As it turned out, he was right.

“This is a great night for Connecticut and for middle class Americans across the country,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray. “Chris Murphy went up against a mountain of money and beat an opponent who spent more than anyone else in history to win a seat in the US Senate. We worked hard to support Chris because I knew that he would never back down and always focus on fighting for Connecticut jobs and working families. I know he will continue to fight hard for the people of his state in the United States Senate.”

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