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Mitch McConnell says chances are '50-50' that voters flip control of Senate to Democrats

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 10/29/2020 Randy Tucker, Cincinnati Enquirer
a group of people posing for the camera: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a campaign stop Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Florence, Ky. © By Randy Tucker/ Enquirer Media Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a campaign stop Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Florence, Ky.

FLORENCE, Ky. – During a campaign stop Wednesday in Northern Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chances were "50-50'' that Republicans lose control of the Senate after Election Day.

"It's a 50-50 proposition. There are dogfights all over the country,'' the Republican leader told the crowd gathered at the headquarters for the Kona Ice Hawaiian-style shaved ice franchise in Florence.

McConnell said Republicans "have a lot of exposure'' in the battle for the Senate with 23 seats up for election, while Democrats have 12.

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Democrats would need a net gain of three or four seats to win a majority in the Senate, which is currently held by Republicans with 53 senators. Democrats count 45 senators and there are two independent senators who caucus with Democrats. 

There are eight Republican-held seats rated as either leaning Democratic or toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which by contrast lists only one Democratic seat as leaning Republican and none as a toss-up.

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McConnell said he's been saying for months that control of the Senate "could go either way," and he said he saw no reason to change his opinion less than a week before Election Day.

He warned that many of his Republican colleagues in the Senate would face a tough fight. At the same time, he was campaigning to keep his own seat against  Democrat nominee, Amy McGrath.

McGrath is trailing in most polls.

But that didn't stop McConnell from warning local residents about the danger he said McGrath poses in a Democratic-controlled Senate.

"If my opponent were to be successful the very first vote she'd cast would be to make Chuck Schumer from New York the majority leader of the Senate...a massive transfer of power and influence for our state,'' he said, referring to the Senate Minority Leader, who is a Democrat from New York.  

McGrath has said McConnell, first elected in 1984, has been in the Senate too long. She also said he has botched the response to the COVID-10 pandemic and fought to take away health care. 

USA Today contributed to this report

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Mitch McConnell says chances are '50-50' that voters flip control of Senate to Democrats

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