McConnell attempts to dampen expectations after Trump-backed candidates win

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is attempting to manage expectations on the number of Senate seats that are anticipated to change hands in the midterm election.

According to The Hill, the poor approval rating of President Biden and the historical pattern of the president’s party losing seats in the middle of their first term in office were two reasons why McConnell earlier projected that Republicans would perform “extremely well” in the 2022 midterm elections.

Expectations of a Republican tidal wave in November have been dampened by the success of candidates endorsed by former President Trump, who has repeated his baseless accusations of widespread election fraud in 2020, as well as the erratic performance of other Senate GOP candidates.

When asked about the chances of Republicans in a number of crucial contests during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday, McConnell tried to temper expectations.

“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 Wednesday evening on Fox’s “Special Report.”

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) leads former football player Walker by 3 percentage points, while Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman leads celebrity doctor Oz by an average of 10 percentage points in Pennsylvania.

Blake Masters, the director of an investment firm, and Eric Schmitt, the state attorney general, both supported by Trump, triumphed in their primaries on Tuesday in Arizona and Missouri, respectively. Both candidates have backed Trump’s allegations of electoral fraud in 2020.

When asked about how the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade would impact Senate races in the fall, McConnell said, “I don’t think we really know until the end of the year.”

“We’re in the process of finding that out,” he said. “There were a lot of people interested in the issue in Kansas. There’s no question about that.”