Senate Smackdown in Connecticut: Hard Hitting and Big Spending

The battle for Dodd's seat turns nasty as McMahon and Blumenthal duke it out.

ByABC News
October 5, 2010, 5:47 PM

October 5, 2010 -- It may all come down to Connecticut. If the Republicans are to have any chance of winning control of the Senate, they almost certainly have to win in Connecticut.

Back when Linda McMahon was CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she wasn't afraid to kick a man in the groin or take on her husband Vince.

But that was then. Vince now runs the WWE on his own and she has a new role: The great Republican hope in Connecticut.

In a sign of just how topsy-turvy this election year has become, McMahon is closing in on Democrat Richard Blumenthal, the state's Democratic attorney general, who once appeared to have a lock to the Senate seat.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows Republicans hold a sizable and unusual lead over Democrats nationwide, bigger than they enjoyed at this time in 1994, when they last seized control of Congress. In congressional vote preference, likely voters now divide by 49-43 percent for the Republican vs. the Democratic candidates in their districts.

McMahon and Blumenthal faced off last night in a debate. Nobody got kicked, but there were plenty of tense moments.

"Government, government, government. Government does not create jobs. It's very simple how you create jobs. An entrepreneur takes a risk," McMahon said.

Blumenthal fired back as the audience laughed, ""I'm not going to be an entrepreneur as a Senator. I will do my best to assist entrepreneurs."

Despite the heated rhetoric during the debate, the real smackdown has been on the airwaves. McMahon has out-spent Blumenthal by a ratio of 16 to 1, spending a staggering $468 per vote to win the GOP nomination. She's on track to spend more than any other Senate candidate in the country this year -- almost all of it her own.