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Hollywood’s midterm favorite, Alison Lundergan Grimes, failed Tuesday in her attempt to unseat Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican’s current Senate minority leader and — in all likelihood — the future majority leader.
Jeffrey Katzenberg had made Grimes’ election his number-one midterm priority, raising well over $1 million for her in Los Angeles. She was the recipient of more than $700,000 in Hollywood money, the highest total of any senatorial candidate in this cycle.
“I’m immensely proud to have supported Alison. She ran a strong campaign,” the DreamWorks Animation CEO said in a statement. “I’m certain she has a great future ahead of her in Kentucky politics.”
Even before the polls closed on Tuesday, Nate Silver‘s FiveThirtyEight site gave McConnell an 98 percent chance of defeating Grimes. Additionally, Silver predicted that McConnell will take over as Senate majority leader, giving that a 76 percent chance of happening.
Led by Katzenberg, the entertainment industry started raising money over a year ago for Grimes, with the hopes that she could beat McConnell.
In a letter to Hollywood donors in September 2013, Katzenberg wrote: “Alison is the antidote to McConnell and all he represents. She can win, and she will win, if she gets the support she needs.”
Katzenberg called the Grimes-McConnell contest “a pivotal election that can get the Senate working again. … There is no more important election being held next year in this country. As the Senate’s minority leader since 2007, McConnell has used the filibuster 420 times to block legislation and appointments that were supported by a clear majority of senators. … We are talking about outright obstruction of the democratic process.”
Results on other Hollywood favorites:
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen defeated Republican Scott Brown in New Hampshire.
– Sen. Cory Booker, who raised more than $640,000 in the entertainment industry, defeated Republican challenger Jeff Bell.
– Sen. Mark Warner, once a Hollywood pick for president, was in a tight battle against GOP challenger Ed Gillespie.
– Sen. Ed Markey, who raised more than a half-million dollars in Hollywood this season, defeated Republican challenger Brian Herr. He received early support for his reelection bid with a gala last year at Cindy and Alan Horn‘s house.
— Sen. Al Franken wins reelection in Minnesota.
– Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas was toppled by Republican rising star Tom Cotton.
— Cory Gardner defeated Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado.
— In Georgia, David Perdue defeated Michelle Nunn.
5:57 pm, Nov. 4 Updated with Katzenberg statement and information on additional races.
7:42 pm, Nov. 4 Updated with additional information on races.
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