McConnell: GOP has '50-50' chance of losing Senate majority

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a news conference following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Oct. 20, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Ge

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chances are "50-50" that Republicans lose control of the upper chamber with just five days to go until the Nov. 3 election. 

“It's a 50-50 proposition. We have a lot of exposure. This is a huge Republican class," McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday during a campaign stop in Kentucky. "There are dogfights all over the country."

Republicans are fighting to hold a slim 53-47 majority in the Senate as Democrats target several GOP-held seats they believe are competitive. In order to take back the Senate, Democrats would need to pick up three additional seats and win the White House.

Although Republicans are hoping to win back the Alabama seat held by Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones – who is considered to be one of the most vulnerable senators – Democrats are going after GOP senators in a growing number of states, including Maine, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina and South Carolina.

There are nine Republican-held seats that are rated as either leaning Democratic or toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which by contrast only rates one Democrat-held seat as leaning Republican (and none as toss-ups). 

For months, McConnell has warned of a competitive battle for the Senate. Republicans will be defending 23 seats in Tuesday's election, compared to Democrats' 12 seats. Democrats have not held a majority in the Senate since 2014. 

"If you look at the Democratic Party today, you ought to be frightened," McConnell said Wednesday. "We're fighting for our way of life."

McConnell is one of the senators up for reelection this year, but is expected to win the race against Democratic challenger and former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath. 

"I'm confident that I'm going to be successful," McConnell said. "I've made my case to the people of Kentucky, I think it's a convincing case." 

Democrats have pledged to make some radical changes that have the potential to reshape the country should they win control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, including eliminating the Senate filibuster, granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and expanding the Supreme Court.

"As far as the filibuster, I'm not busting my chops to become majority leader to do very little or nothing," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during a recent interview with MSNBC. "We are going to get a whole lot done. Everything, everything is on the table."