McConnell: Too soon to know if GOP will hold Senate majority

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (R-Ky.) stopped short of declaring victory on Wednesday in the battle for the Senate majority, even as Republicans held off Democratic upsets in key races.

"I don't know if I'm going to be the defensive coordinator or the offensive coordinator," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky, referring to the minority leader and the majority leader positions.

Based on the races that have already been called, and seats that were not up this cycle, Democrats are currently projected to hold at least 47 seats in the Senate next year. Republicans will hold at least 47 seats.


Republicans were able to hold off challengers in key states including Montana, Iowa, South Carolina and Kansas, where Democrats were hoping a wave election could put the red states in play.

There are five races that haven't yet been called and a sixth race, the special election in Georgia, will go to a runoff early next year.

Of the five seats that haven't yet been called, four are GOP-held: Alaska, Georgia, Maine and North Carolina.

McConnell indicated that there could be clarity by the end of the day on which party is more likely to control the Senate.

"[I'm] told we're more likely to get a definitive answer in North Carolina and Maine by the end of the day," McConnell said.


McConnell added that it appears that the party is "in a pretty good position" in those two states. He indicated that believes the two states are key to Republicans holding the majority, telling reporters that if they win both, "I'm still the offensive coordinator."

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisNorth Carolina — still purple but up for grabs Team Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection MORE (R-N.C.), who trailed Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham in the polls for months, has had a slim lead throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday. He currently has a roughly two percentage point lead with 93 percent of the votes in.

Meanwhile, Republicans are waiting to see if GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (Maine) will be able to hold off going to ranked-choice rounds against Democratic nominee Sara Gideon.

Collins has 51 percent just before 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press, with 85 percent of the votes in. She'll need to stay above 50 percent to avoid the race going to ranked choice.

In Georgia, GOP Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight House Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races Ossoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns MORE and Democrat Raphael Warnock are heading to a Jan. 5 runoff. Republicans are still waiting to see if Sen. David Perdue (Ga.) can stay above 50 percent and avoid a second runoff election that could keep control of the Senate up for grabs until early next year.


One state that still needs to be called is currently held by Democrats: Michigan, where Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersRepublican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE is trying to hold off an upset by GOP nominee John James.

James has had a consistent but narrowing lead since polls closed, but Democrats are quick to note that many of the yet-to-be-counted ballots are in likely Democratic strongholds.

If Democrats can hold on in Michigan and Republicans win in North Carolina and Maine, Democrats would have to win both races in Georgia to get to a 50-50 Senate next year.