Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out Republicans’ big plan for 2024: Win everywhere possible.
Republicans are gearing up for the 2024 elections, and they only need to flip two seats to take control of the Senate. McConnell told CNN Monday that they have a few key states they’re focusing on, but really, they just want to win.
“We don’t have an ideological litmus test,” McConnell told reporter Manu Raju. “We want to win in November.”
“We’ll be involved in any primary where that seems to be necessary to get a high-quality candidate, and we’ll be involved in every general election where we have a legitimate shot of winning—regardless of the philosophy of the nominee.”
Republicans have allowed pretty much any and everyone into their party, including election deniers, conspiracy theorists, and just plain liars. But previously, those people had to earn their way into the party mainstream. McConnell has made it clear now that as long as you say you’re Republican, you’ll be welcomed.
McConnell said the GOP would focus primarily on flipping seats in Ohio, where Sherrod Brown is running for reelection, Montana (Jon Tester), West Virginia (Joe Manchin, who has been acting like a Republican anyway), and Pennsylvania (Bob Casey). The minority leader said he’s not confident his party can retake the Senate, but he plans to work hard to try.
Part of that will be backing former President Donald Trump should he secure the Republican nomination again in 2024. McConnell did not explicitly say whether he would support Trump, instead saying he would back whoever the GOP nominates. But he does think that having Trump as a nominee could help Republicans win Senate battles too.
McConnell did not yet have a clear plan for Arizona, where independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema has not yet announced if she will run for reelection. Failed gubernatorial candidate and election-denier Kari Lake, who won Trump’s endorsement, has hinted she will run for Senate on the Republican ticket. McConnell refused to disavow Lake and said that GOP leadership would probably wait to see who wins the GOP primary in Arizona before getting involved.
Even if Lake wins the nomination, “what I care about in November is winning and having an ‘R’ by your name,” McConnell said.
McConnell didn’t seem too concerned with Republicans’ actual policy proposals during the interview. And no matter who runs, Republicans will have a hard battle ahead. A recent Fox News poll found that most voters across the country want increased gun control and abortion rights—two things on which the GOP seems absolutely unwilling to budge. If the Republican Party fails to switch up its policies on these issues, then it may ultimately not matter who its candidates are.