Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday morning he wouldn't be personally happy with the GOP's midterm results, unless it captures Senate seats in more centrist states.
Priebus was also asked whether impeachment of President Obama would be off the table if Republicans took control of the Senate. Progressive groups have used the threat of impeachment to motivate their base.
"I think it's a good Democrat talking point, but I think people are angry. Some Democrats are angry too. I just think people believe that this country's in the ditch, I think people see a Washington that isn't working ... and I think, ultimately, the person at the head of it all is the president. And some people might think that's fair or not fair, I think it is. And you have [Senate Majority Leader] Harry ReidHarry ReidHopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs If Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first Senate confirms Mulvaney to be Trump’s budget chief MORE [D-Nev.] who's holding up over 260 bills in the Senate," he said, after laughing a bit at the question.
"I don't think I'm saying anything earth shattering. I think it's true," he added.
Priebus's comments come at a time when the GOP is trying to expand its reach.
This election is the first since a Priebus-led effort to reach out to new constituencies and modernize the GOP’s voter outreach efforts.
But attempts by the GOP to appeal to centrists have been contrasted with the continuing strength of the conservative Republican base. Several incumbent Republican senators — including Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellPoll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch Cardboard cutouts take place of absent lawmakers at town halls GOP groups ramp up pressure on lawmakers over ObamaCare MORE (R-Ky.) — faced Tea Party primary challengers this cycle.
Though most establishment candidates prevailed, the Tea Party has a presence at the polls on Tuesday. Joni Ernst, the party's Senate candidate in Iowa, appeared poised to win her race having run on a conservative platform. In Louisiana, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is running against Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.) as well as Tea Party favorite Rob Maness.