Remarks from President Donald Trump suggest the GOP may be blindsided by voters turning out for Democrats on Nov. 3.
Citing a report from The Washington Post, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday that President Trump said in a private conversation that Republicans may have a “very tough” time keeping their majority in the Senate this November.
“The Senate is tough”
The Post cited an anonymous source who said the comments were made by Trump at a fundraiser in Nashville.
The private event was held just before the second and final presidential debate between Trump and Democrat White House hopeful Joe Biden.
“I think the Senate is tough actually. The Senate is very tough,” Trump reportedly said at the fundraiser, according to the Washington Examiner.
“There are a couple senators I can’t really get involved in,” the president added. “I just can’t do it. You lose your soul if you do. I can’t help some of them. I don’t want to help some of them.”
“A knife fight in an alley”
Though the Post‘s report hasn’t been independently verified, if true, it suggests that Trump has a similar line of thinking to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican told Fox News in September that there would be some close races for the upper chamber this year.
“We knew this was going to be a struggle,” McConnell said, according to the New York Post. “I think it’s a 50–50 proposition. The outcome of the Senate could go either way.”
The majority leader pointed to states like “Montana, Colorado Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, Maine, and Georgia,” where the races are “like a knife fight in an alley,” in his words.
“I feel good about where we are,” McConnell said at the time. “But look, none of these races are either lost or won.”
Republicans currently hold 53 seats in the Senate, compared to the Democrats’ 45, though two independents — including most notably, Bernie Sanders (VT) — do caucus with them. This November, Republicans are defending 23 Senate seats to Democrats’ 12, according to Ballotpedia.