[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/29/art.mcconnell.cnn.jpg
caption="Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts his party will hold most, if not all, of their seats."]
(CNN) - Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) gave a bleak outlook on the prospects for a Republican-led Senate in 2009.
During an interview with CNN’s Late Edition, McConnell told guest host Candy Crowley that the numbers were not in the GOP’s favor.
“We are not going to be back in the majority in the Senate next year,” said McConnell. “The numbers make that impossible.”
Republicans in the Senate have been gearing up for the elections in November despite grim conditions. Five GOP senators are retiring this year: Sen. Wayne Allard (CO), Sen. John Warner (VA), Sen. Pete Domenici (NM), Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE), and Sen. Larry Craig (ID). Other Republicans are running in competitive elections, such as Norm Coleman (MN), who faces well-known comedian and outspoken Democrat Al Franken in November.
Each party holds the same number of members in the Senate (49-49), but the Democrats hold a slim majority with two independents, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, caucusing with their party. However, many are predicting that the Democrats could pick up as many as six seats in the fall, giving them a clear majority.
Despite the GOP’s troubles, McConnell remains hopeful about his party’s chances and predicts they will hold most, if not all, of their seats. “I'm optimistic we can stay roughly where we are,” he told Crowley. “We have a robust minority.”