Rumors: Senate Republicans Starting To Get Antsy Over Midterms Takeover

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 03/04/2023

Two months before election day, Republicans are playing the victim card as they see their odds of retaking control of the Senate decline. NOTE: During my podcast – Wayne Dupree Podcast, we have been speaking at length that the Republicans can lose and will only lose if they self destruct and it seems that’s what they love to do.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is criticizing former President Trump and his backing for numerous contentious GOP candidates who are struggling in the polls by pointing to “candidate quality” as a reason why GOP expectations are waning.

Trump, on the other hand, has been laying the groundwork for weeks to blame McConnell if Republicans fail to retake the Senate at a time when it is largely anticipated that they will reclaim the House majority.

The nation’s two most influential Republicans are not the only ones who are being blamed. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and its chairman, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has also been at odds with the Senate GOP leader for much of the year, were also targets of McConnell’s remarks, which also served as a not-so-subtle criticism of them.

Scott has received fierce criticism for spending the August recess on a lavish boat off the coast of Italy and for his costly endeavor to increase the NRSC’s internet donation base.

According to a New York Times study, the group ran under his direction raised $181.5 million by the end of July but spent 95% of it, leaving it with far less cash on hand than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

Scott, for his part, criticized other Republicans last week for “trash-talking” Republican candidates, calling it a “incredible act of cowardice” and “treasonous.” Republicans are returning to Washington under a difficult background, so when the Senate resumed business on Tuesday, members made an effort to downplay internal conflicts.

After the Senate GOP leadership meeting, Scott told reporters that his Washington Examiner op-ed from September 1 in which he accused other Republicans of undermining “the conservative cause” was not directed at McConnell but rather at anonymous Republican sources who had attacked Senate GOP candidates in the media.

He continued, “I told the liberal media about those who give anonymous remarks. People are criticizing our Republican candidates anonymously.

Scott said, “No, I wasn’t referring to McConnell,” when asked whether he was.

Republicans in the room said that McConnell and Scott avoided bringing up their public argument. Senator John Thune, the Republican Whip in the Senate, stated, “It’s a non-issue; everyone is focused on November” (S.D.).

Scott’s harsh criticism of Republicans, according to a Senate Republican strategist, was an effort to divert attention away from his own record. He is looking for someone other than his travel agency to blame, according to the insider, since he is humiliated about being discovered on an Italian holiday 100 days before the most important election in a decade.

The strategist referred to the Times’ in-depth article on the NRSC’s fundraising difficulties as a “major cause for worry” and said it “raises more doubts than anything Republicans have seen thus far” about the Democrats’ financial edge.

As he made his way off the Senate floor to his office on Tuesday afternoon, McConnell declined to comment on his public altercation with the NRSC chairman.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a member of the GOP leadership team and McConnell’s deputy, expressed alarm about the Democrats’ far larger financial position at the DSCC.

He said, noting that there are “multiple sources of funds for elections,” such as individual campaign committees and super PACs, “there are multiple sources of funds for elections,” adding, “It concerns me a lot that Democrats are going to vastly outspend Republicans across the board. But as long as we have enough money to tell our story and defend our position, we’ll be fine.

However, Cornyn minimized the McConnell and Scott public dispute. “I believe that we all have a common goal. I’m concentrating on getting the majority back, which is what we want. And from what I can tell, I believe that’s what they both want to accomplish,” he added.

Republican strategist and former Senate staffer Brian Darling claimed that influential Republicans in the Senate are putting themselves in a position to take over if their effort to regain the majority fails. He claimed he couldn’t recall ever witnessing a Senate Republican leader and the chairman of the Senate GOP campaign arm engage in such blatant hostilities.

“Watching them fight in public like this is not beneficial,” he remarked. In the end, I believe there is a lot of noise regarding the outcome of the election, but it undoubtedly gives the impression that Republicans are in disarray.

More generally, Senate Republicans are worried that President Trump’s legal issues are taking up too much of the national limelight and distracting voters from President Biden’s economic record, which is what they want the 2022 midterm election to be about.

According to the political forecasting and polling website FiveThirtyEight, Democrats currently have a 69 percent probability of maintaining their Senate majority.

Because of the difficulties faced by Mehmet Oz, the GOP contender, retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R) Pennsylvania Senate seat is now predicted to be won by the Democratic Party.

While FiveThirtyEight predicts a likely Democratic victory in the Pennsylvania Senate election, the Cook Political Report ranks the contest as leaning Democratic.

Republican candidates in other competitive states, including Arizona, Georgia, and Ohio, are perceived as underperforming, either due to expensive mistakes made or failing to raise the expected amount of money.

Herschel Walker, a former NFL star and Republican Senate candidate in Georgia, has made a number of mistakes, including stating incorrectly that he had served as an FBI agent and claiming that spending federal funds to reduce pollution will cause “our good air” to “float” over to China and be replaced by “China’s bad air.”

Republicans Blake Masters in Arizona and J.D. Vance in Ohio were also supported by Trump, in addition to Walker. Given the rising inflation, petrol costs, and Biden’s declining popularity, many Republicans will point the finger at the influence of the former president if they are unable to take back the Senate.

GOP strategists believe they are still in the driver’s seat in Ohio and are optimistic about their chances in Georgia. They believe that Republican incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp’s efforts to turn out Republicans will help propel Walker to victory.

However, the comments made by McConnell and Scott suggest that if the GOP experiences a bad Election Day, the finger-pointing may continue, especially given Trump’s constant bashing of the Senate majority leader of his party.

According to Darling, “McConnell is essentially hedging his bets in case things don’t go properly.”

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