Republican Linda McMahon has now spent $77 million of her own money on two races for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut, according to figures being reported by the Associated Press on Friday.
With the total spending for the presidential and congressional elections this year expected to reach nearly $6 billion, how much one candidate spends out of his or her own pocket is noteworthy.
The AP says McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (now known as WWE), has poured in $27 million of her own money so far in her race against Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy. She spent about $50 million of her fortune two years ago in her unsuccessful bid against Democrat Richard Blumenthal.
McMahon's self financing this year appears to exceed the $25 million Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spent earlier this year in his failed Senate campaign. But her total so far for two races is far short of the $140 million that Republican Meg Whitman spent on her unsuccessful 2010 race for California governor.
Eli Zupnick, Murphy's spokesman, told AP that McMahon is using her fortune to run a campaign of "failed right-wing policies." Todd Abrajano, a McMahon spokesman, said the GOP candidate cannot be influenced by special interests because she is largely funding her own campaign.
Murphy leads McMahon by an average of 3 percentage points in Connecticut, according to polls compiled by RealClearPolitics. They are vying to succeed independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is retiring.