Tampa, Fla. — Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky can’t have had a very pleasant time over the past week, with Todd Akin apparently throwing away a winnable seat in Missouri, but he is still hopeful about taking control of the Senate.
“At this point, the less said the better,” McConnell tells National Review Online, when asked about events in the Show Me State. “Hopefully, that will revert to a winnable situation.”
McConnell, the Senate GOP leader since 2007, has his eye on a handful of other races, including some contests in blue states, as he evaluates the electoral landscape. In contrast to 2010, he says, this year Republicans haven’t made big mistakes in their primaries. He cites Nevada as an example. Maybe Harry Reid wasn’t going to lose to anyone in 2010, he observes, but he “sure wasn’t going to lose to Sharron Angle.” This time, outside of Akin, “We haven’t nominated a single unelectablecandidate,” he says.
To win the four seats necessary to get to 51 seats, McConnell believes that some combination of these states’ Senate races will have to go red: North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. And though they aren’t getting much attention, he says the Republican contenders in Hawaii and Connecticut may be competitive.