With Election Day less than two weeks away, Republican candidate Linda McMahon has broken a Connecticut state record for donating personal funds to one's own campaign coffers.
Despite spending some $41.5 million of her own money to fund a Senate race, with an additional $10 million to come, the former wrestling executive nevertheless lags her opponent by double digits in the polls.
Worth between $156 million and $400 million, McMahon is one of a cadre of wealthy candidates who are financing their campaigns out of their own pockets this season. And like many of this year's millionaire -- and billionaire -- candidates, she is falling behind in the final stretch.
According to a partial filing with the Federal Elections Commission released Tuesday, McMahon lent her campaign $20 million between July 22 and Sept. 30, bringing her total contribution to $41.5 million since she launched her campaign last year.
According to the FEC, McMahon has already spent $39.5 million, more than 10 times the amount spent by her Democratic rival, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
Blumenthal has spent a total of $4.4 million -- $3.3 million just in the past three months -- of which he contributed $500,000 of his own money, according to the FEC.
McMahon's fortune was made off World Wrestling Entertainment, the professional wrestling behemoth she founded with husband Vince McMahon.
McMahon owns an $8.5 million mansion in Greenwich, condominiums in Las Vegas and Boca Raton, Fla., has $1 million in a checking account, and owns municipal bonds, mutual fund and stocks including shares of Google and Apple, according to federal election disclosure documents and a report in the Hartford Courant.
McMahon has used much of the money she donated to her campaign for a barrage of anti-Blumenthal ads. She has crowded the airwaves with commercials that depict the Democrat as a career politician, who, he admits, embellished his military record and lied about fighting in Vietnam.
Her outsize spending initially boosted her in the polls; at one point, she was within 3 points of Blumenthal. But in a Quinnipiac Poll published Oct. 16, she trailed by 11 points (Blumenthal had 53 percent; McMahon 34.)
"We think based on internal polling that it's a very close race," said Ed Patru, a McMahon campaign spokesman. "And we expect a close result on Election Night. Linda has said from the beginning that she is funding this race with her own money because she will not allow special interests to bankroll this campaign in the way they are bankrolling Dick Blumenthal's campaign."
"The FEC filings are not news. Linda has said from the beginning she will spend $50 million," Patru said.
McMahon isn't the only wealthy candidate paying her way through the election. Dozens of self-financed candidates are spending big across the country, and if history is any guide, they will likely lose.
Currently, many are behind in the polls.
While outspending the competition typically spells success, the calculus of more money equaling victory does not hold true for self-financers, according to data from the National Institute for Money in State Politics.