McConnell: 50-50 chance Republicans will take the Senate
July 8th, 2012
10:21 AM ET
11 years ago

McConnell: 50-50 chance Republicans will take the Senate

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hedged his bets Sunday when asked about the GOP's chances of winning control of the Senate in November.

"50-50. I think it's going to be a very close, competitive election," the Kentucky senator said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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Republicans currently hold 47 seats in the Senate. Democrats hold 51, and two independent senators caucus with Democrats.

"There are a number of places where we have an opportunity for pickups. Not many places where we have much chance of losing a seat," he told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Party leaders are especially watching two races under way in Virginia and Massachusetts that are both rated as tossups.

Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts is fighting to keep the seat he won in a special election in 2010 to replace the late Ted Kennedy. However, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has strong backing from her party’s heavyweights and significant fund-raising power. Polls have shown the two candidates to be statistically tied for months.

Meanwhile in Virginia, two former governors have been running neck and neck for close to a year to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb. Former Sen. George Allen and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine will continue to battle it out through November in a race widely expected to be influenced by the presidential election.

Despite describing the two contests as competitive, McConnell said he still anticipates Republican victories in both states.

"They're close races. We expect to win them both, but they're close races," he said.

The GOP has its eye on a number of other races, including those in Missouri and Montana - where Democrats face tough re-election bids - and in Nebraska and North Dakota, where Republicans are backing conservatives in two open Senate races.

Their endeavor to take back the Senate grew more complicated earlier this year when Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine announced her retirement. While Snowe, a moderate, was popular in her state, political observers say it's very possible a Democrat could pick up her seat in the typically blue state.

McConnell, however, held back on predicting a solid win in the Senate for either party this November.

"I think at the end of the day we're going to have a very narrow Senate, one way or the other,” the minority leader said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitch McConnell • Senate • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. RS, CA

    With a Republican House and Senate, we can finally get something positive accomplished for the USA. Then President Romney will lead us back to liberty and prosperity.

    July 8, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"They're close races. We expect to win them both, but they're close races," he said.◄
    Don't bet on it in Virginia – Macaca is not going to succeed – So McConnell's prediction is DEAD!!!

    Kaine 2012 – Warren 2012 – Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 8, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. John

    This just go to show the Republican just how far that they got there head up there back side.

    July 8, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitch McConell didn’t answer the first questions in State of the union
    0.0001% chance republicans will take senate
    Local republicans are nerves Past 3 weeks Sen. Bob Corker airing his ad ,4 months before the election in red state

    July 8, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Tony in Maine

    It depends entirely on the success of voter suppression.

    July 8, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Larry L

    Mitch McConnell would be fired in any other profession. Can you imagine a member of the Board of Directors of a corporation declaring "his only goal" to be removal of an elected CEO – even if it meant blocking all votes of the Board for four years and seriously hurting corporate profits? Would the stockholders tolerate that behavior? How about the military? What if the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn't "approve" of a Commander-In-Chief and decided to block all military planning to prevent success on the battlefield? Mitch McConnell is a traitor to the American people and needs to be flushed.

    July 8, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Michele

    The chance of anything happening is 50-50. It either WILL happen or WILL NOT.

    July 8, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    @ rs ,ca. Are you at home . Did your mom put you on time out. Is that the liberty you speak of. Behave your self so you do not have to sit in the corner of the room for writing all that crap. Have a nice day.

    July 8, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    RS, CA
    With a Republican House and Senate, we can finally get something positive accomplished for the USA. Then President Romney will lead us back to liberty and prosperity.
    RS, you are exactly correct. We have a very clear path to economic recovery and getting the federal government back in the business of serving the nation. Romney 2012 and as many Republican congressmen as we can elect!

    July 8, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Darryl

    Thats not going to happen. He said it on National T.V., " the Republican Partys main goal is to make P.Obama a 1 term President. The people know that and they just aren't willing to do that. They can pour all the Big Bucks into Mitt Romney but the United States is NOT for sale period.If anything, the House will lose seats and the Demacrates will control both Congresses. I think people have been fed-up with the Obstruction the GOP has demonstrated and the deliberate attempt to keep the economy down in the trenches so it will make President Obama look bad.Things don't look good for the GOP T-Party people. We'll see, Bottom line ? This country has to move forward and the POTUS is doing exactly that. Slow & Steady...........In the right direction and secure future for all americans.

    July 8, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. REG in AZ

    Psychologists tell us that 4% of the population are sociopaths, totally self-focused individuals without any conscience, and that a full 64% are followers, those led around by the manipulations of others, which leaves only 32% as self-thinking, conscience driven individuals, divided among all the possible biases. When realizing that it then becomes rather easy to understand how “the money” can feel so cocky confident in their ability to spend their mega-millions to successfully con the people and manipulate public opinion. Since the supreme court has ruled to allow “the money” to spend all they want, it is now only possible to compete by spending as much as they do – and “the money” is laughing all the way to the elections.

    July 8, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. ohio

    Even if they do eek out some wins I get the distinct impression that the repubs are a
    nervous bunch right now. In the cincinnati paper, today, there was an article about
    Boehner announcing a new repub headquarters in his own county. He showed up for this–
    where primary repub voting was at only 18 percent. Does that tell you something?
    they are a little nervous and they should be. and good riddens to them if they are indeed voted out.

    July 8, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Are you up for reelection. Did you put your seat in the loss coloum. Have a nice day.

    July 8, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. B

    I admire Sen. McConnell for having such an active imagination. It is very important to keep the brain active.

    OBAMA 2012 WARREN 2012

    July 8, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Phil Thomas

    Job one was getting rid of the president at any cost so I wonder what other marching orders Rush and Rupert will give this clown. My fellow Americans you reap what you sow, But it's more complex than blame everything on the President. Tax rates are the lowest they have been since the 1950's fact, we went from bleeding 800k jobs to getting in the black, your gun laws are nice and safe. The world isn't ending and if any of you clicked on the world tab above you would see it. It takes longer than three years to fix twenty to thirty years of bad policy it's just common sense. Don't give the keys to these guys again, I voted for plenty of repubs but not any more

    July 8, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. steven harnack

    If Americans reward the Republican Party for their behavior for the last four years, let alone the eight that came before them, it will destroy my last shred of hope and faith in humanity.

    July 8, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Jerry from Dallas

    My party won majority in Congress in 2010 elections promising to focus on jobs. McConnell, Eric Canter, John Boehner all promised to focus on jobs once we get them majority number. Instead it is all about abortions, time wasting investigations and vacations. The only bill passed that is pro middle class is Student loan and infrastucture bill. Why should we give such party majority in the house? They betrayed our trust.....period. They got 9% approval rating lowest ever.

    July 8, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Bob Lewis

    What a bold prediction!

    July 8, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Keith

    McConnell is the enemy of the middle class

    July 8, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. GI Joe

    I guess if they can suppress enough voters, anything is possible. If they can't steal the electons, surely they can buy them --

    July 8, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. aye

    McConnel used to say he will not raise tax for the wealth but increase the base no of the tax payers. So, the poor and the middle class should be aware that tax will be increased when GOP take the congress

    July 8, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Indy

    Obama only believes in America,Romney believes in Bermuda,Cayman Islands and Switzerland

    Believe in America but invest in Bermuda,Cayman Islands,Switzerland (Romneyvision)

    July 8, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Mike in Texas

    RS, What color is the sky in your world? Please enlighten us with how he will accomplish this? His Magic underwear? You must be one of those private rich donors who he tells his plans to but won't tell America until he is elected.

    Are you competing with four and the door to be Romney's butt kisser? You two are worse than Baghdad Bob.

    July 8, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Sorensen

    The old girlie-man McConnel obviously does not give Romney much of a chance. Like most of the GOP people with a
    brain. Having also lost most women, blacks, gays, latinos, etc. he now has to rely on the mormons and their magic book
    that came flying down from heaven!!! Good luck with that.

    July 8, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Pat Champion

    When people realize that everything in this world has an opposite or nothing will exist, we can begin to make this country and world a better place. It takes two parties to get things done, compromise is the only solution in making things work. The GOP somehow think that when they control everything, things will be good for people, but it will never happen, it's just not wjat makes the world go round.

    July 8, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |