The numbers don’t lie — Mitch McConnell did not cause Republicans’ humiliating midterm performance


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell takes aim at Supreme Court leak. AP Photo

The numbers don’t lie — Mitch McConnell did not cause Republicans’ humiliating midterm performance

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With the late-breaking news that both Adam Laxalt and Blake Masters lost their hotly contested Senate races to Democratic incumbents, Republicans are officially in an even worse place politically than they were two years ago. Democrats have secured 50 seats in the Senate — a majority thanks to the swing vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. Republican hopes of merely reclaiming their 50-seat minority in the chamber now depend on Herschel Walker’s Dec. 6 runoff against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) in Georgia.


Naturally, Masters wants to blame Mitch McConnell for the GOP’s humiliating midterm showing.

“The people who control the purse strings, Senate Leadership Fund, Mitch McConnell — McConnell decided to spend millions of dollars attacking a fellow Republican in Alaska instead of helping me defeat Sen. Mark Kelly,” Masters said of the Senate minority leader. “Had he chosen to spend money in Arizona, this race would be over, we’d be celebrating a Senate majority right now.”

The numbers don’t lie, but Masters, here, does. There certainly are marquee members of party leadership who failed to do their part this cycle, but McConnell isn’t one of them, and he has the receipts to prove it.

It is true that in Alaska’s general Senate election between two Republicans, McConnell spent $7 million from the Senate Leadership Fund on incumbent Lisa Murkowski over more MAGA-aligned Kelly Tshibaka. That, however, pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions McConnell spent on candidates across the country hand-picked by former President Donald Trump and his acolytes.

The SLF spent some $32 million on the Senate race of Ohio’s J.D. Vance, which Vance narrowly won. The SLF and two other McConnell-aligned super PACs, American Crossroads and Faith & Power PAC, spent nearly $57 million to help Pennsylvania’s Mehmet Oz, who ultimately lost. The SLF also spent $42 million to assist Walker in Georgia, $36 million to help Ted Budd eke out a win in North Carolina, $28 million on Laxalt’s losing bid, and $17 million on New Hampshire’s Don Bolduc. All in all, McConnell-aligned groups spent $238 million on Republican hopes for Senate control. The SLF, in particular, spent $178 million in the five key races of Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

That SLF spent $7 million on Murkowski, just 3% of McConnell’s total outlay for Republican Senate candidates, is not the reason Masters, Oz, Laxalt, Bolduc, or Walker threw away easily winnable races.

You know who spent much less than McConnell, despite sitting on $100 million in donations? The actual leader of the Republican establishment, Donald Trump, that’s who.

The former president’s Make America Great PAC spent less than $15 million in the entire midterm cycle, with just $3.6 million spent on Masters.


McConnell actually expressed a willingness to spend on Masters, who bragged about wanting to unseat the Kentucky kingmaker from Senate leadership. But Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who bankrolled Masters’s primary bid, refused to match McConnell’s proposed donation, leading the latter to nix the idea altogether.

Trump spent couch cushion change on the GOP, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, helmed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), spent all of its cash so early that McConnell was stuck footing the bill nationwide in the last weeks of the campaign.

One thing McConnell didn’t do? Hijack campaign rallies 72 hours before polls close to attack his own party’s most popular politician out of personal spite.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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