Sunday, September 9, 2012

Even Without the Obnoxious Todd Akin (Who May Still Win) Senate Control Will Shift To Republicans and World Wrestling Federation Head Linda McMahon May Win Race

Why – Because Big Money Beats No Money

One of the few positive outcomes for Democrats in the 2010 elections was the defeat of WWF head Linda McMahon in a Connecticut Senate Race.  Ms. McMahon, whose only credentials were making millions of dollars in a sleazy fake wrestling business spent a huge amount of money, but she lost.

Ms. McMahon spent $50 million to try to win the seat in 2010, only to lose to a former Connecticut attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, by 12 points in a year that saw Republicans make large gains nationwide. This time, President Obama, who won the state by 22 points in 2008, is at the top of the ticket.

So there should be no problem for Democrat Chris Murphy, a star in the Democratic party in Connecticut.

Mr. Murphy, 39, is an attractive rising star in the party, who has won handily since defeating Ms. Johnson in the most Republican-leaning district in the state. A lawyer who practiced real estate and banking law, he served eight years in the Connecticut General Assembly, four in the House and four in the Senate before going to Washington

But there is, of course, and it is money.

Most positive for Ms. McMahon is the increase in her favorability ratings. Though she was once viewed unfavorably by almost 50 percent of the voters, the newer poll showed her being seen favorably by 47 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent, reflecting, in large part, ads focusing on her family, humble beginnings and success overcoming early business struggles. The results reflect the degree to which she has dominated the airwaves and political conversation after spending more than $65 million, almost all of it her own money, beginning with her 2010 race.

Wow, $65 million dollars of her own money to buy a Senate seat.  What about Mr. Murphy?

Mr. Murphy, whose campaign has spent about $3 million so far, has focused on manufacturing, health issues and crafting an image as a progressive Democrat with bipartisan appeal who has been willing to work with Republicans in the House. He says he is proud to put his work in government up against Ms. McMahon’s history as the former chief executive of the World Wrestling Entertainment.

So yes Connecticut is a solidly Democratic state.  But guess what, $65 million (or $100 million or $150 million, take your pick) beats $3 million every time.  And the Democratic candidate may have some ethics issues which could be decisive.  Mr. Murphy’s only hope, debates where voters can compare the ability and competence of a professional vs the strident Conservatism of a candidate whose only qualification is that she has a lot of money to pour into the race.

In the old days, before direct election of Senators a prospective candidate could buy a Senate seat by bribing enough state legislators.  These days it is different.  Senate candidates, particularly wealthy Conservative ones can pretty much buy a Senate seat with an overwhelming cash advantage.  No, it’s not fair, it’s not democracy, its Republican.

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