McConnell 'increasingly optimistic' GOP race will reach second ballot

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHow Cruz Supreme Court case could lead to unlimited anonymous election spending Trump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections The Armageddon elections to come MORE (R-Ky.) appeared to take a veiled shot at GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE, suggesting he's "increasingly optimistic" the Republican race will require a second ballot at the Republican National Convention in July. 

"When a nominee gets to 1,237, he will actually be the candidate. If he doesn't, there will be a second ballot, and about 60 percent of the delegates who are bound on the first ballot will be free to do whatever they want," McConnell told a local ABC station Saturday. "And I'm increasingly optimistic that there actually may be a second ballot." 
 
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He noted that he's expecting to be a delegate for Kentucky and that "on the second ballot I'll be free to do whatever I want to." 
 
 
Though he didn't mention a specific candidate, McConnell added "there are some candidates suggesting that it's somehow tricky to simply follow the rules of the convention." 
 
Trump is currently leading the hunt for delegates and is poised to dominate Tuesday in New York's primary. 
 
According to NBC News, if Trump wins 85 delegates on Tuesday and Cruz gets five, the Texas Republican would need to nab 98 percent of the remaining delegates to reach 1,237. 
 
McConnell has repeatedly avoided weighing in on the presidential fight, as he will lead the defense of 24 Senate seats in November. He's pledged to support whoever wins the nomination. 
 
McConnell added he believes delegates are focused on getting a nominee "who can win" and beat former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE
 
Trump and his campaign have repeatedly accused Republican elites of banding together to deny him the nomination at the party's July convention. Trump predicted earlier this year that there would be "riots" if he went into the convention with the most delegates but didn't end up the nominee. 
 
McConnell, however, stressed that at a contested convention the party's delegates will decide who gets the nomination.
 
"I mean, this notion that there's some group of people in Washington who can hand-pick somebody and deliver it, is not true. If there were such a group, I'd probably be a part of it," he added.