Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a dire projection for the upcoming midterm elections in November. He is downplaying expectations for the GOP capturing control of the Senate because of what he describes as a problem with “candidate quality.”
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” he said in Florence, Kentucky. He was at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon when asked about his projection for the 2022 election.
“Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly.”
The senate minority leader did not mention any names, it’s not hard to guess some of the races that he might be talking about.
In Pennsylvania’s open Senate race, the Cook Political Report, which is nonpartisan, changed the rating for the race from “toss up” to “lean Democrat.” In that race GOP nominee and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz is battling with Democrat John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, and he leads in recent polls.
The GOP have nominated a number of first-time candidates who were endorsed by former President Donald Trump. They come from states such as Georgia, Arizona and Ohio, and they are running against seasoned Democratic politicians.
One sign of worry is that the Senate Leadership Fund, a group aligned with McConnell, just bought $28 million worth of airtime in Ohio to support Republican nominee J.D. Vance.
McConnell and his fellow longtime Republicans may be remembering 2010 and 2012 when the party came up short in getting control of the chamber because of weak candidates.
The GOP need a net gain of just one seat to control the Senate and get veto power over President Joe Biden.