- Mitch McConnell said there’s a “50-50” chance Republicans will win control of the Senate this fall.
- “I think the outcome is likely to be very, very close either way,” he said at a Kentucky luncheon.
- McConnell recently said the “quality of the candidates” was a key factor in Senate races, which angered Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that Republicans had a “50-50” chance of regaining the upper house majority in November’s midterm elections, while predicting that regardless of result, the organism would remain closely divided.
The Kentucky Republican made the remarks at a business lunch outside Lexington, where he also said Republicans would work with President Joe Biden if the party wins control of both the Senate and the House this fall.
“Freaking out the Senate, what are the chances? It’s a 50-50 proposition,” McConnell said during the luncheon. “We have a 50-50 Senate right now. We have a 50-50 nation. And I think the outcome is likely to be very, very close either way.”
“If both the House and the Senate change, I think the president will be a moderate. He will have no choice,” he added. “And so we’re going to try to find ways to make progress for the country in the last two years of his term … but not a big dramatic change.”
McConnell’s comments come after he drew condemnation from former President Donald Trump last week for his comments that the “quality of the candidates” was a critical factor in Senate races; the GOP leader last week appeared to downplay his party’s chances of flipping the upper house.
“I think there’s probably a greater chance that the House will meet than the Senate,” McConnell said last week at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “Senate races are different — they’re statewide, the quality of the candidates has a lot to do with the outcome.”
Trump responded by calling McConnell a “broken hack politician” and attacking the GOP leader’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, as “crazy.”
The relationship between Trump and McConnell has been strained since the GOP leader confronted the former president over his conduct on January 6, 2021, when rioters breached the US Capitol and tried to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral victory in 2020.
While Trump has continued to criticize the election results, pointing to voter fraud, McConnell on Monday was not interested in addressing the issue.
“Electoral fraud, it’s there. It happens from time to time. But our democracy is solid. And of the things we have to worry about, I wouldn’t worry about that,” the Republican Senate leader said.
Republicans are poised to make big gains in Congress this year, buoyed by Biden’s low approval ratings and voter unease over inflation, but Democrats in recent months have had some major legislative successes with a bill of chip financing, which received significant bipartisan support, and the president signing the party’s tax, health and climate bill.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion has become a major issue in many Senate races, with Democrats seeking to argue that the ruling was overreach as they seek to increase their support among women, a core constituency for women. the party and the political independentists.
Democrats currently control the Senate 50-50 by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote, and the party hopes it can pick up seats in key states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, while defending incumbents in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. .