Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted the GOP establishment will destroy conservative insurgents attempting to unseat a trio incumbents in an interview with the New York Times published on Sunday.
“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” McConnell said. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”
McConnell is one of three establishment Republicans who are facing primary challengers backed by Tea Party conservative groups. The Senate Conservatives Fund, The Madison Project, and FreedomWorks are supporting Matt Bevin, McConnell’s rival in Kentucky. All three groups as well as the anti-tax Club For Growth are also throwing their fundraising weight behind Chris McDaniel’s run against Republican Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran. The Madison Project and the Senate Conservatives Fund are also spending to support Milton Wolf, who is challenging Kansas Senator Pat Roberts.
This right flank rebellion is occurring just as the GOP is attempting to take a majority in the Senate. While the seats in Kansas and Mississippi are unlikely to fall into Democratic hands even after a vicious primary, McConnell is facing a close race against Democrat Alison Lundergran Grimes. Though polls show McConnell well ahead of Bevin, a tough primary fight can’t help McConnell’s standing in a hypothetical general election matchup against Grimes.
McConnell told the Times he’s confident the challenge from the conservative base will fade out after its first few losses.
“I know this: Politics doesn’t like losers,” McConnell said. “If you don’t have anything to point to, it is kind of hard to keep it going.”
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