With less than 60 days to go until the midterm elections, Republican detractors are questioning the leadership of Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.).
The criticism of McConnell comes as forecasts are suggesting — with greater frequency — that the GOP will face a significant challenge to regain the majority in the Senate than previously anticipated.
Nationally, Republicans are campaigning on gas prices, inflation, and a host of “kitchen table” issues that resonate with voters in an effort to bolster their chances of winning the majority in the Senate.
But their efforts have been hindered by developments out of their control: the overturning of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court and the FBI’s seizure of classified documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Now, Republicans have to face a midterm election where abortion and Trump will be factored into voters’ decisions far more than the GOP could have anticipated a few months ago.
These developments, coupled with recent legislative wins by Democrats and questions surrounding candidate quality of Senate candidates in key states, place Republicans on the back foot.
In the midterm homestretch, the Senate Leadership Fund, PAC aligned with McConnell, committed tens of millions of dollars to boost the campaigns of Republican Senate candidates, with McConnell also hosting fundraisers for Herschel Walker and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Yet, McConnell’s decision not to release a governing agenda that would detail Republicans’ Senate vision should they win the majority and earlier remarks about “candidate quality” has enraged critics who believe the Senate Minority leader is undermining the GOP’s chances of taking back the Senate.
Commenting on the issue, a Republican strategist and former Senate aide said, “For someone who’s considered a political genius, somehow, McConnell has painted himself into a corner where he only looks smart if Republicans lose. He has basically staked out a position that we have bad candidates, we’re not following the right strategy, and I don’t expect to retake the Senate.”