McConnell May Circle Wagons To Hang On To Leadership Role

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is making moves through a major Republican political action committee that are headscratchers. At least until his desire to hang onto his Senate GOP leadership position is duly considered.

A new Politico report revealed that the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), which McConnell is a major part of, is pulling roughly $8 million in ads for the hotly contested Arizona race that were due to begin in early fall.

Instead, support for the GOP candidate will not begin until early October.

Republicans need one net seat gained to retake control of the Senate, but the move by McConnell’s group removes strong support from Republican nominee Blake Masters in Arizona. He is battling Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who is billed as a moderate though his record speaks otherwise.

Focusing even more attention on McConnell is the timing, which is just weeks after the National Republican Senatorial Committee also canceled roughly $13.5 million in ads in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

McConnell incredibly has taken to casting doubt on Republicans’ chances of regaining Senate control, despite needing only one net seat to do so.

His statement that “candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome” has been widely quoted — and not for complimentary reasons.

The Minority Leader further dismissed the idea of a GOP Senate majority by declaring “Senate races are just different.”

Part of the issue appears to be endorsements of several Republican candidates by former President Donald Trump. He and McConnell rarely see eye to eye, and Trump said after Democrats passed their scaled-back tax and climate bill that the Kentucky senator is “bad for Republicans.”

Hand in hand with the Trump endorsements is the realization that, if these true conservatives are victorious, it could mean a loss of power for McConnell.

Many even speculate that the senator from Kentucky would rather have Democrats in control of the Senate for another two years than to give up his position. If Republicans control the body, chances are someone else will control Republicans. And that may not be acceptable.