Thursday, May 28, 2015

McConnell: 2016 goal is to maintain, not grow, GOP majority

(AP) — Mitch McConnell says he expects to maintain but not grow the U.S. Senate's Republican majority next year.

The Senate majority leader said Tuesday the GOP's chances of gaining seats are "pretty slim" because Republicans must defend 24 seats compared to the Democrats' 10. Plus, Republicans will field candidates in several states dominated by the presidential election, including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois. He said Republicans "regretfully" have an open seat in Florida because Marco Rubio is running for president and not re-election at the same time, as McConnell's fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul plans to do.

McConnell told the Elizabethtown Rotary Club that Republicans have a chance to gain seats in Nevada, where Sen. Harry Reid is not seeking re-election, and Colorado where Republicans defeated an incumbent last year.