Nevada Demo Win May Spell Doom for McConnell (Newsmax)
By John Gizzi Sunday, 13 November 2022 07:46 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive
The reports that Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto had pulled ahead of Republican challenger Adam Laxalt in Nevada Saturday night spells certain Democratic retention of the Senate.
It also may be the beginning of the end of Mitch McConnell’s time as Senate Republican leader, Senate sources told Newsmax.
With near-final results coming in the Silver State’s Senate race, Cortez Masto had pulled ahead of Laxalt, grandson of the late Gov. and Sen. Paul Laxalt. The Republican had been leading in the count since Tuesday night and was up by as many as 22,000 as of Saturday morning. But late-counted votes from Clark County (Las Vegas) finally put Cortez Masto ahead by fewer than 1000 votes by 9:00 PM EST.
Should the Nevada Democrat’s lead hold up, Senate Democrats will have the 50 seats they need to maintain the current tie between the parties. That means that Vice President Kamala Harris will cast the tie-breaking vote to determine who rules, and that even if Republican Herschel Walker wins the run-off in Georgia December 6, it won’t change who’s in charge of the Senate.
It also raises the odds considerably on a possible coup against Senate Republican Leader McConnell. The longest-serving leader of either party in the Senate after sixteen years, the Kentuckian had been expected to be re-elected to his leadership position next week following a triumph that brought the GOP to a majority in the Senate once again.
But it didn’t happen that way and discussion is growing that the leadership elections scheduled next week will be postponed—possibly to have a discussion among GOP senators about why they failed to make a net gain of one Senate seat they need to become a majority.
Among those reportedly supporting a postponement of leadership elections are Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Josh Hawley (Mo.), and Mike Lee (Utah). Scott is mentioned as a potential challenger to McConnell for leader, as is Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.).
For his part, McConnell, 80, has yet to say what his plans are regarding his position as leader.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.