McConnell: Midterms could be 'a Category 3, 4 or 5' storm for GOP

McConnell: Midterms could be 'a Category 3, 4 or 5' storm for GOP
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump administration releases PPP loan data | Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits | McConnell opens door to direct payments in next coronavirus bill Trump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge The Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages MORE (R-Ky.) says that November's midterm elections will be "challenging" for Republicans, but he can't yet predict the strength of the headwinds.

“This is going to be a challenging election year,” McConnell said in a Tuesday interview with Kentucky Today. “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4 or 5.”

McConnell said he’s optimistic his party can hold on to a majority in the Senate but the fight for the House, where every seat is up for election this year, will be more daunting.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m hoping we can hold the Senate,” he said, “And the principle reason for that, even if we were to lose the House and be stymied legislatively, we could still approve appointments, which is a huge part of what we do.” 

McConnell said he is pleased that his Senate was able to confirm 12 federal circuit judges and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch in the first year of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump's Bubba Wallace tweet was 'racist, just plain and simple' Beats by Dre announces deal with Bubba Wallace, defends him after Trump remarks Overnight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding MORE’s term.

“That’s more than the first year of any president since the circuit courts were created in 1891,” McConnell said.

The nation’s top conservative donors and fundraisers are also concerned by the possible “blue wave” the GOP is facing in the midterms. 

Democrats need to win 23 seats to win back the House. The president's party typically loses an average of 32 House seats during midterm elections.

Trump's job approval rating has been underwater for more than a year, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.

A Fox News poll, out last week, showed Democrats ahead of Republicans by 5 points on a generic ballot.