Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) says he has the votes to become majority leader should Republicans get the majority in the Senate.
McConnell’s statements come as speculation that Trump-backed freshman senators could shake up the GOP leadership.
“I have the votes,” McConnell said during an interview with CNN, slamming the prediction that he could be out in GOP’s leadership if Republican Senate seats are filled with Trump allies.
Many speculate McConnell would be the natural target of any Trump-endorsed Senators after the Kentucky Republican has endured two years of feuding with the former President.
But McConnell’s security in his position could also be cemented by Senate Republicans admitting that they have not explored a challenge to McConnell.
McConnell’s leadership team’s most senior members — Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso (WY.), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX.) — have remained fiercely loyal to the Minority Leader despite Trump’s fierce attacks.
But McConnell could also attain loyalty from GOP colleagues and Senate candidates through fundraising dollars. Candidates in battleground states like Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, have McConnell to thank for tens of millions of dollars received from McConnell-linked PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund.
In the last two weeks, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent $52 million on television ads, an ad-tracking firm, AdImpact reported.
Trump’s Save America PAC, however, has only contributed $8.4 million to Republican candidates and committees in this election cycle, according to the Washington Post.
Instead, most of Save America’s budget has gone to Trump’s ballooning legal fees.