(CNN) - In the closely watched senate race in Connecticut, Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy defeated Republican nominee and professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon, according to a CNN projection.
When the race was called, Murphy led by lopsided 60 percent to 39 percent in early tallying.
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Murphy will take over the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who sided with Democrats.
His win preserves a seat for Democrats who feared losing it to the wealthy McMahon who spent over $90 million in the last two elections to try to win a Senate seat.
The race was marked by heavy negative advertising.