Thursday November 8, 2012

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Republican Linda Mc Mahon promised the Con necticut GOP that she would run a totally different campaign in 2012 after losing her first U.S. Senate race two years ago to Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

The former wrestling executive said she didn’t need to spend $50 million again. Her second campaign would be more grass-roots oriented. She would work to improve her standing among women.

But during the final months of this year’s race, she resembled the McMahon of old.

The wealthy McMahon spent almost the same eye-popping amount -- more than $42 million as of last month -- for a total of nearly $100 million over the two races. She plastered TV screens with seemingly endless commercials. And exit polling conducted for The Associated Press showed female voters ultimately backed her Demo cratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy. Murphy beat Mc Mahon among women 3-to-2.

In the end, with 95 percent of precincts reporting, McMahon had lost with 43 percent of the vote. It was the exact same percentage she had garnered in 2010.

"We’ve seen this movie before," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, who predicted in mid-October that McMahon’s popularity -- which had improved since 2010 -- was fading in the final weeks, just like two years earlier.

"By the end of the campaign, voters liked her less," Schwartz said. "They trusted her less and perhaps part of that was a backlash to her saturation of television advertising."