Expressing concerns over the tone and direction of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told a Louisville civic group on Thursday the GOP’s prospects of maintaining control of the upper chamber of Congress are at best “very dicey.”
“I may or may not be calling the shots next year,” McConnell said predicting GOP chances of holding the Senate.
In the November general election, Republicans are defending 24 incumbent Senate seats to the Democrats’ 10.
While McConnell did not tacitly state Mr. Trump is a weight on the GOP or the Party’s chances of maintaining their current majority in the Senate, he did state he would prefer if the New York businessman “settles down and follows the script.”
McConnell, in a veiled attempt to distance himself from Trump, stated he would not hesitate to publicly contradict the real estate mogul if needed.
Defending Republican control of the Senate is proving difficult: GOP seats in Illinois and Wisconsin are expected losses; seats in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Indiana are considered toss ups; and incumbent John McCain remains in a tight race to return to Washington for his sixth term representing the state of Arizona.
There is good news, however: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat is vulnerable with Republican Congressman Joe Heck leading in polls over Democratic challenger Catherine Cortez Masto.
Similarly, sitting Sen. Marco Rubio, whose decision to re-enter the Florida Senate race was uplifting for the GOP, leads his likely opponent, congressman Patrick Murphy.
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