- 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 luncheon in Kentucky.
- McConnell recently said the “quality of the candidate” 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 a majority in the upper chamber in November’s midterm elections, while also predicting that regardless of the outcome, the body would remain closely divided. .
The Kentucky Republican made the comments at a business lunch outside Lexington, where he also said Republicans would work with President Joe Biden if the party wins control of the Senate and House of Representatives this fall.
“Overturning the Senate, what are the odds? It’s a 50-50 proposition,” McConnell said at 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 the House and 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 some progress for the country during the last two years of his term … but not a big dramatic change.”
McConnell’s comments come after he received condemnation from former President Donald Trump last week over his comments that “the quality of the candidate” was a critical factor in Senate races; The GOP leader last week apparently downplayed his party’s chances of taking back the upper house.
“I think it’s more likely that the House will come back than the Senate,” McConnell said last week at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “Senate races are just 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 Republican leader’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, as “crazy.”
The relationship between Trump and McConnell has been strained since the GOP leader chastised the former president for his behavior on January 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the United States Capitol and tried to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral victory in the year 2020.
While Trump has continued to dispute the election results, pointing to voter fraud, McConnell on Monday was not inclined to let go of the issue.
“Electoral fraud, there is some. 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 Senate GOP leader said.
Republicans are poised to make big gains in Congress this year, buoyed by Biden’s middling approval ratings and voters’ concern about inflation, but Democrats in recent months have had some major legislative successes with a funding bill chips — which received significant bipartisan support — and the president signing the party’s tax, health care and climate bills.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion has become a central issue in many Senate races, with Democrats seeking to argue that the decision was an overreach as they aim to increase their support among women – a key constituency for parties — and political independents.
Democrats currently control the Senate 50-50 thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote, and the party hopes it can pick up seats in key states including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, while also protecting incumbents in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. .