Democrat Chris Murphy has won the Connecticut Senate race against Republican Linda McMahon. Murphy has 60 percent of the vote as of 5:45pm Pacific and CNN has called the race while final votes are counted.
The race was created by Independent Connecticut Joe Lieberman who announced his retirement from the Senate in January 2011. Both parties look to pick up the Senate seat held by the “independent Democrat” who was unaffiliated but caucused with the Democrats and was a former member of the Democratic Party. The Democrats currently hold 51 seats compared to the Republican 47, with two Independent Senators (Lieberman and Sanders).
The two candidates have run a long and expensive race against one another. Linda McMahon ran for the Senate unsuccessfully in 2010 and again this year at a collective personal price tag of nearly $100 million. McMahon is the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Chris Murphy is the sitting Congressman from Connecticut’s 5th District. He has served in Congress since 2007. The Democrat has attracted the support of President Barack Obama.
In the final days leading up to the election Murphy was leading by an average of 6 points. The race became one of the most expensive races in the country as over $10 million in outside expenditures funneled into the state. Some of the spending was prompted by McMahon who largely self-funded the campaign, catalyzing the Democratic Party to spend more money in the state.
Both candidates paused their campaigns for several days following Hurricane Sandy, which has devastated the Connecticut coast. All but two of the state’s 773 voting precincts were open as scheduled on Election Day. The remaining two were relocated and voters were able to participate at new polling locations.