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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' 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 TillisSenate hears from Biden's high-profile judicial nominees for first time Senate Democrats take aim at 'true lender' interest rate rule Former North Carolina chief justice launches Senate campaign 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 CollinsCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Manchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' 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 LoefflerGeorgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' Loeffler asks Georgia attorney general to investigate Raffensperger over 2020 election Former Rep. Doug Collins won't enter Georgia Senate race 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 PetersHillicon Valley: DOJ to review cyber challenges | Gaetz, House Republicans want to end funding for postal service surveillance | TikTok gets new CEO Senators introduce bipartisan bill to protect personal travel data Hillicon Valley: Acting FTC chair urges Congress to revive agency authority after Supreme Court ruling | Senate Intel panel working on breach notification bill 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.