When Glenn Youngkin won the governorship of Virginia last November, Republicans across the country began predicting a “red wave” for the midterm elections. They believed, as many Republican members of Congress predicted, that the upcoming November elections will bring a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate. Polling would seem to back that claim; generic Republican candidates have consistently had a three – four point advantage over a generic Democratic candidate. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell disagrees.
Surprisingly, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson offered the same prediction via his monologue Thursday evening.
Mitch McConnell was speaking at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon when he discussed how he thinks the November elections will turn out. McConnell believes that the Republicans will take the House of Representatives, but that the Senate will not be majority Republican.
McConnell said he believes that “candidate quality” is an issue that the Republican Party has when it comes to whether they can earn a majority in both chambers of Congress in November.
“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 followed up by discussing that the Senate is split “50-50,” and, unfortunately, so is the country. McConnell predicted another “extremely close” Senate. Currently, the Senate is made up of two independents, fifty Republicans, and 48 Democrats. Senator Angus King, Jr. (ME) and Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) make up the Independent votes. (Ballotpedia describes King’s voting record as “more moderate left of center).
Currently, in order for Democrats to garner a simple majority vote (which can only be done on reconciliation-style bills and the like), both the Independent Senators must vote with their Democratic colleagues. Vice President Kamala Harris is usually called in to break a tied vote (as was done to pass the Inflation Reduction Act). However, certain pieces of legislation require a 60 vote majority, which explains why it’s been so difficult for Democrats to get any legislation through the Senate.
McConnell has been either the Majority Leader of the Senate or the Minority Leader for many years (since 2007), and he is often asked by news media for analysis of both politics and legislative pieces. His opinion in Washington is generally well-respected, even by his Democratic colleagues. For McConnell to make this prediction should spur the Republican National Committee to really push the candidates running this year.
McConnell believes that the Senate will remain “extremely close;” he added, “Either our side up slightly or their side up slightly.”
Tucker Carlson’s monologue was in agreement with McConnell. However, Carlson had a suggestion for Republican candidates running for the Senate: run on current issues such as rampant crime and the crisis at the southern border. This approach appears to be working for incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly (AZ), who has pushed the Biden Administration to complete the gaps in the border wall in Yuma, Arizona.
Kelly is currently up by eight points in polling; his Republican opponent is Blake Masters, who has been endorsed by President Trump.
Carlson also pointed out the surge in crime statistics over the last two years. He pointed to places in Georgia that are offering $4,000 hiring bonuses, yet still seeing no candidates attempt to get a job with local sheriff departments.
Republicans have typically been known as the party of law and order; Carlson pointed out this is an everyday issue that affects all people, no matter their party preference.
However, another Trump-endorsed Senate candidate, JD Vance, is up by five points over current House member Tim Ryan. Even so, there is no guarantee that Vance will win in November.
Other notable Senate candidates include Georgia’s Herschel Walker and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Walker is popular with the Georgia people for his prolific athletic career, but Real Clear Politics has Warnock over Walker by four points. Dr. Oz, who is a physician and a television celebrity, trails his Democratic opponent John Fetterman in Pennsylvania by as much as ten points.