Report: McConnell Privately Optimistic GOP Will Take Senate Newsmax
By Luca Cacciatore | Tuesday, 20 September 2022 03:58 PM EDT
Despite public comments made to the contrary, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly feeling good about Republicans' chances of taking the Senate in November.
Sources told Axios on Monday that the GOP leader from Kentucky expressed "cautious optimism in closed-door remarks" to the United States Chamber of Commerce about picking up the highest chamber in the midterm elections.
The change in messaging is a sharp contrast to McConnell's position expressed to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon last month, according to NBC News.
"I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they're statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome," McConnell said in Florence, Kentucky.
"Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we're likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly."
Former President Donald Trump called out McConnell's statement at the time, asking Republican senators on Truth Social why they allow the leader "to openly disparage hard working Republican candidates for the United States Senate[?]"
That hard work appears to be producing results. Recently, there has been a shift in polling of competitive Senate races toward Republicans, specifically in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio, and Georgia.
The Trafalgar Group's latest survey of the Pennsylvania Senate race showed Dr. Mehmet Oz closing the gap on state Lt. Gov. John Fetterman from a 5.3 percentage point margin to 1.8 points.
New polls of the Arizona Senate race by Trafalgar and Emerson College have capitalist and author Blake Masters trailing incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly by two points. Last month, a Fox News poll had Masters down eight.