The political world laughed when professional wrestling impresario Linda McMahon announced her campaign for the Republican bid in Connecticut's forthcoming Senate race. But now McMahon is having the last laugh, having won the GOP nomination with just under 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race. She will now face off against state Attorney General Dick Blumenthal. Here's how she did it and what it means.

  • All About Spending Big  Politico's Maggie Haberman and Shira Toeplitz write, "McMahon spent $22 million for a come-from-behind convention victory. ... but if she thought free spending in a deep-blue state was the sole path to November success, her results showed that money isn't everything. ... McMahon is expected to dump tens of millions of dollars more into her race in an effort to stave off wrestling-related negatives."
  • $50M 'Or More'  Talking Points Memo's Eric Kleefeld reports, "Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and now Connecticut Republican Senate nominee, says she will continue to self-finance her campaign -- and she's not ruling out the idea of spending $50 million or more."
  • Will Be a Rough, Personal, National Race  The New York Times' Raymond Hernandez writes, "Now the national Democratic Party finds itself with another headache heading into a grueling midterm election season. ... Ms. McMahon will almost certainly wage a personal and potentially nasty campaign that will question Mr. Blumenthal’s integrity and take advantage of voter anger to paint him as yet another career politician. ... Ms. McMahon’s campaign plans to blanket the state on Wednesday and Thursday with fliers reminding voters of revelations that Mr. Blumenthal had misrepresented his Vietnam War record."
  • Dems Will Go After WWE  CBS News previews the anti-McMahon angle. "Just minutes after McMahon finished addressing her supporters, national Democrats sent out e-mails to reporters, calling her victory "decent but underwhelming" given the amount of money she has spent, and took aim at World Wrestling Entertainment, her family's company where she was CEO until last fall. 'Today the party of Bob Dole, Jack Kemp and Dick Lugar nominated a candidate who kicks men in the crotch, thinks of scenes of necrophilia as 'entertainment,' and runs an operation where women are forced to bark like dogs. This is what has become of the once grand old party,' said Hari Sevugan of the Democratic National Committee."
  • Probably Not Competitive  Liberal blogger DougJ writes, " I get that McMahon has a lot of money and that may force spending on Blumenthal’s behalf, but all in all, this does not look like a competitive race." Libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis concurs, "While McMahon does have a money advantage here, and has managed to close the poll gap with Blumenthal to some degree over the summer, I’d still put this as a likely Democratic seat when the dust settles in November, unless Blumenthal just runs an appallingly bad campaign."