Sen. Mitch McConnell admitted that if he loses his reelection campaign, Republicans have zero chance of taking back the Senate.
McConnell was surprisingly blunt when speaking to the National Review Online, “The race will be a test of how strong anti-incumbent sentiment has grown. Neither candidate is coy about the stakes. Asked whether the GOP has any chance of retaking the Senate if he doesn’t win in Kentucky, McConnell is direct: “No,” he says.”
Everybody is aware of the stakes in the Kentucky Senate race. Right now, Republicans are a slight favorite to retake the Senate and hold a 51-49 majority. The entire prospect of Republicans gaining the majority comes down to the GOP’s ability to hold on to seats in Kentucky and Georgia. If the Republicans lose one of those seats, they will not retake the Senate. McConnell is the most vulnerable Republican Senate incumbent in this cycle.
The Kentucky Senate race will likely be the epicenter of the fall battle for the Senate. The fact that Alison Grimes continues to run neck and neck with the Senate minority leader is helpful to Democratic candidates across the country because Republicans and their outside groups will be forced to spend what is likely to end up being $100 million+ to defend a seat that has been safely in their hands for thirty years. Instead of helping out Republican candidates in states like Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Michigan, and Arkansas, funds will be dedicated to keeping McConnell in his seat.
McConnell is correct. Republicans have zero chance of retaking the Senate if he loses. Make no mistake about it, Democrat Alison Grimes faces an uphill battle in her campaign. Even though McConnell is not popular in the state, Kentucky still is very red in presidential elections. President Obama is not popular there, which is why McConnell has been running against the president instead of his Democratic opponent. Grimes will be out funded, and she still has to persuade a majority of the voters in the state to end their three decades long relationship with Sen. McConnell.
What Alison Lundergan Grimes has working in her favor is that she is the perfect contrast to Mitch McConnell. She is young, energetic, and focused like a laser on the issues that matter to Kentucky voters. She is the opposite of everything that Mitch McConnell represents in this campaign. As will all elections, who turns out to vote will determine the winner. Voters in the state will also have to decide whether giving Republicans control of the Senate is more important than their own self-interest. The McConnell campaign has made their message all about their candidate becoming Senate Majority Leader if he wins.
Kentucky voters have to decide which is more important. Mitch McConnell’s ambitions, or their own needs.
The answer will go a long way in determining which party controls the Senate.