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Mitch McConnell: Republicans ‘hoping’ to hold the Senate in the midterms

April 4, 2018 GMT

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Republicans are aware this fall will be a challenging election for them, in an interview published Wednesday.

“This is going to be a challenging election year,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, told Kentucky Today. “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4 or 5.”

He said he’s hopeful Republicans will hold the Senate since there are less competitive seats up for reelection this time around.

“I’m hoping we can hold the Senate,” Mr. McConnell told the newspaper. “And the principle reason for that, even if we were to lose the House and be stymied legislatively, we could still approve appointments, which is a huge part of what we do.”

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Of the eight Republican seats up for re-election this year, Nevada and Arizona are the two labeled “competitive,” while Democrats have 26 seats to defend. Six of those Democratic seats are also places where President Trump performed well in 2016, including Florida, North Dakota and West Virginia.