World Wrestling Entertainment boss Linda McMahon easily defeated former Rep. Christopher Shays in Connecticut's Republican Senate primary Tuesday. Rep. Chris Murphy won the Democratic nomination to oppose her for the seat of retiring Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
The Associated Press called the race for McMahon -- who lost the 2010 race for the state's other Senate seat to Richard Blumenthal -- around 8:30 with less than 10 percent of the votes in but with her running up big victories in towns and cities.
With half the vote in, McMahon was swamping Shays 77 to 23 percent, Politico reported.
With wide advantages in fundraising, endorsements and the Democratic Party's backing, Murphy roared to victory over former state Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz in his primary. With half the precincts reporting, Murphy was beating Bysiewicz 66 to 34 percent, Politico reported.
McMahon failed to ride the Republican wave of 2010, losing to Blumenthal by 12 points despite spending $50 million of her own fortune.
"I am crossing my fingers hoping I only get outspent 5-1. Getting outspent 5-1 would be a victory. I can't win this race by running more TV ads or sending more mailers," Murphy told Politico in a recent interview. "I have to do it by having a better message, by running a smarter campaign and having tons of volunteers out there spreading the message."
Shays was widely seen as the more moderate Republican candidate running and campaigned as the more "electable" of the two in a face off against Murphy. But he was vastly outspent by McMahon; according to the latest information available from the Center for Responsive politics, she had spent more than $11 million to his $1.2 million.
In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV easily won their primaries Tuesday and will face off for Nelson's seat in November, the Associated Press reported.
With 80 percent of the vote counted, Nelson had 78 percent in his primary, while Mack was winning 58 percent in the GOP race.
Mack will try to win back the seat once held by his father, Connie Mack III. Nelson won the seat in 2000 when the elder Mack retired.
Mack, a four-term congressman who is married to Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif. -- the widow of congressman and entertainer Sonny Bono -- handily defeated retired Army Col. Mike McCalister and former Rep. Dave Weldon. Mack had been the favorite to win the nomination, especially after former Sen. George LeMieux dropped out of the race in June.
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