Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is not optimistic about the Republican Party's chances of retaking control of the Senate in November.
What did McConnell say?
McConnell suggested Thursday he believes the GOP will have a difficult time flipping the Senate, citing "candidate quality."
"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.
While it is not exactly clear what McConnell's "candidate quality" remark means, it most likely refers to various Republican nominees who may have a difficult time winning their elections.
For example, many Republicans whom former President Donald Trump endorsed — J.D. Vance in Ohio, Blake Masters in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania — are struggling in the polls. If they lose their races, it will be difficult for Republicans to flip enough Senate seats to retake control of the Senate.
In light of their struggling campaigns, McConnell predicted earlier this month the race for control of the Senate will be "very tight."
"I think it's going to be very tight. We have a 50-50 nation. And I think when this Senate race smoke clears, we’re likely to have a very, very close Senate still, with us up slightly or the Democrats up slightly," McConnell said.
In fact, the Republican leader has been warning for months that the quality of candidates will be important for the GOP to retake control of the Senate.
And unfortunately for Republicans, the Democratic Party plans to exploit the candidate quality.
"We are just beginning to communicate about the deep flaws that their roster of candidates brings to these races," David Bergstein, the spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told the Washington Examiner. "Their personal and political vulnerabilities are going to continue to be a centerpiece of these Senate campaigns in the months ahead."
While McConnell may not be enthusiastic about GOP prospects, his counterpart in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), is hopeful.
"We’ll win the majority and I’ll be speaker," McCarthy told Fox News of the 2022 election outcome this week.