Senate Republicans will hold its leadership vote on November 16, an election that will determine whether Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will remain the top Republican in the Senate, Politico reported.
McConnell has stated he wants to remain the GOP leader, which would pave the way for his top lieutenants to remain in their positions. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is reportedly planning to remain the Senate whip and Sen. John Barrasso (R-KY) the chair of the Senate Republican Conference.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) is reportedly expected to replace Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Under Scott’s leadership, the NRSC defended 21 Republican-controlled seats up for election on Tuesday, while Democrats only had 14 seats to defend. If Republicans win the Senate races in Georgia and Nevada, Republicans will reclaim the Senate by one seat.
The next chair of the NRSC will have to contend with McConnell’s Senate leadership if he is reelected as leader.
“I expect Senator McConnell will be reelected leader of the Republican conference. And I support him,” Barrasso told Politico about McConnell’s leadership chances. “You have to stand up and say you’re going to run if you want to run for something like that in the conference. And I have not heard of any challenges in the current leadership.”
Not all GOP senators support McConnell’s reelection as the top Senate Republican. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-M) said this week he does not support McConnell’s reelection.
A number of GOP Senate candidates had voiced opposition to McConnell, but many of those candidates did not win their elections or the races are remain undecided.
Critics have questioned McConnell’s leadership decisions during the midterm election. The McConnell-backed super PAC notably defunded Arizona candidates Blake Masters and Gen. Don Bolduc of New Hampshire while backing pro-impeachment Sen. Lisa Murkowski against challenger Kelly Tshibaka with $9 million.
Both the Arizona and New Hampshire races have not been decided. Gen. Bolduc lost his race Tuesday to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). It appears Murkowski may defeat Tshibaka due to the state’s ranked voting choice system.
Sen. Scott has been rumored to be interested in replacing McConnell. Scott reportedly has former President Donald Trump’s support. Scott has not publicly said he is interested in the job heading into the midterm election.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.