McConnell credits Trump for helping Republicans hold the Senate

McConnell credits Trump for helping Republicans hold the Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at the Tuesday briefing, Sept. 25, 2018, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo © 2018 Doug Christian/TMN))

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell credited President Donald Trump for helping Republicans hold on to their majority in the Senate.

“He worked very hard, drew large crowds. I think it clearly had a positive impact on the outcome,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Trump spent the final weeks of the campaign season traveling across the country on behalf of Republican candidates. Many were locked in tight races.

Republicans won 51 seats in Tuesday’s midterm elections-the same number they currently hold. Democrats won 46 seats.

Races in Arizona and Florida have yet to be called.

CNN reported that Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has requested a recount in his race. Nelson is trailing Republican Gov. Scott by a small margin.

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith (R) faces a runoff election next month against Democratic challenger and former Clinton cabinet member Mike Epsy.

Mississippi law requires a runoff if neither candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote. The seat is considered safely Republican.

Republicans could hold as many as 54 seats by the time all ballots are counted.

The GOP lost the House by a large margin on Tuesday.

McConnell said he believes he can find common ground with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is considered likely to become speaker next year for the third time.

“We are not unfamiliar with each other, and we will probably have a lot more dealings with each other in the future,” he said.

McConnell cited lowering prescription drug costs and infrastructure as issues on which he and Pelosi might be able to work together.

McConnell said Republicans need to do better with female voters, whom exit polls say voted overwhelmingly Democratic on Tuesday.

McConnell said he hopes to place a female Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee next year.  The 11 Republicans on the committee are all men.

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