"Connecticut's Senate Race: Linda McMahon vs. Richard Blumenthal "

Linda McMahon certainly grasps the art of the sale. ""The choice in this election is absolutely clear,"" the GOP Senate hopeful from Connecticut explained during the race's second debate, held in a Norwalk banquet hall on Oct. 7. ""We have a career politician vs. a businesswoman who knows how to create jobs."" Her tone made politicians sound about as reputable as subprime-mortgage lenders.

In a season when voters have turned time and again to candidates posing as outsiders, McMahon, 62, is the real thing. The former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has never held elected office, yet she set aside $50 million to bankroll her bid for the seat being vacated because of Senator Chris Dodd's retirement. McMahon remains a long shot. The moderate Republican is a vanishing breed across New England, and a wrestling tycoon with a family yacht named Sexy Bitch is an awkward fit for the blue, buttoned-up Nutmeg State. As recently as June, McMahon trailed Democrat Richard Blumenthal, the state's popular attorney general, by more than 20 points."