McConnell 'increasingly optimistic' GOP race will reach second ballot

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' MORE (R-Ky.) appeared to take a veiled shot at GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJuli├ín Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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. 
 
 
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.