Mitch McConnell’s leadership questioned following GOP Senate loss

While Republicans had been hoping to pick up Senate seats in Arizona and Nevada this year, those hopes have been met with a crushing defeat. 

Democrats are all but certain to maintain their hold on Senate

Fox News reported on Saturday evening that Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto had managed to eke out a very narrow victory over Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.

That loss came on the heels of a report by The Wall Street Journal on Friday that Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly had beaten Republican Blake Masters by an almost six-point margin.

Those results mean that Democrats are now certain to maintain their control in the Senate, with the only uncertainty being how big their majority is set to be.

That final question will be answered by a run-off election next month in which Georgia voters will choose between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

Mitch McConnell could face a leadership challenge

The election fallout has led to bitter criticism of leading Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Fox News reported in August that a Republican super PAC aligned with McConnell canceled $8 million worth of ads from the Arizona Senate race.

However, another McConnell-linked super PAC spent millions of dollars in Alaska to support moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski over her Trump-endorsed challenger Kelly Tshibaka. Murkowski was one of only seven GOP senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his 2021 impeachment trial.

The Hill reported that this brought a rebuke from the Alaska Republican Party, which voted in October to censure McConnell.

“Much of the financial support from the Senate Leadership Fund has been used for malicious political attack ads targeted at our endorsed candidate, Kelly Tshibaka, that are gross distortions of fact,” The Hill quoted the party as saying in a statement.

Fox News reported on Sunday that Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and a number of his colleagues are now calling for the scheduled vote regarding McConnell’s leadership to be postponed.

“The old party is dead,” Hawley said in a tweet put out on Saturday evening. “Time to bury it. Build something new.”