Linda McMahon Spends $40 Million but Lags in Connecticut Race
Rich candidates break records for personal spending, but they often lose races.
Oct. 21, 2010— -- 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.)