McConnell changes tune, says Trump Senate picks 'have a good chance of winning'
Recent polling suggests that each of the three faces either an uphill battle or at least a tight race
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will host fundraisers for some Trump-endorsed Senate candidates in battleground states despite tensions with the former president himself.
The Kentucky Republican will host fundraisers for GOP Senate hopefuls Mehmet Oz (Pa.), Herschel Walker (Ga.) and Ted Budd (N.C.), according to the Epoch Times. Each candidate received former President Donald Trump's endorsement.
McConnell said he chose to support the candidates because they were running “in critical states and [have] a good chance of winning.”
Recent polling suggests that each of the three faces either an uphill battle or at least a tight race in their states. Budd appears to be best poised to claim a Senate seat as the RealClearPolitics polling average shows him with a 2.8% lead over his Democratic opponent.
Walker meanwhile, is within striking distance of incumbent Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, but still trails by 3.3%. The most recent Emerson College poll, however, shows Walker with a two point lead.
Oz faces the toughest challenge in Democratic Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who currently leads the television personality by an average of 7.8%.
McConnell's remarks contrast with comments he made earlier in the month in which he tempered expectations that the GOP would take the Senate and cited "candidate quality" as one of the reasons for his measured forecast.
“Flipping the Senate, what are the chances? It’s a 50–50 proposition. We’ve got a 50–50 Senate right now. We’ve got a 50–50 nation. And I think the outcome is likely to be very, very close either way,” he said at the time.