The Connecticut Senate race is down to two: former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon has emerged as the GOP candidate to run against Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (of Vietnam misstatement controversy), as former GOP Rep. Rob Simmons has suspended his campaign after losing out to McMahon for the GOP nomination.
Simmons was once considered a frontrunner to win this seat, as flagging Sen. Chris Dodd looked vulnerable in 2009 and Simmons was the heavy favorite among Republicans to challenge him. But things changed. McMahon entered the race in September, and, with enough money to do so, put together a solid team of political talent. Dodd announced his retirement in January, and the popular Blumenthal became an instant favorite in the race.
Simmons, a former congressman who served from 2001 to 2007 (he lost to current Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney amid the Democratic wave of 2006), becomes the latest established politician this cycle to lose out to an insurgent outsider. Not to a tea partier, but to an entertainment business executive.
McMahon now finds herself, potentially, in a close race with Blumenthal. Polls have shown Blumenthal with a huge lead, but the only major poll taken since his Vietnam controversy, a May 18 Rasmussen survey
, showed him leading by just two percentage points.