McConnell: Republicans have 50-50 chance of winning Senate

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Ticket

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell downplayed expectations of a Republican Senate takeover when asked to gauge his party's odds Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Fifty-50. I think it is going to be a very close, competitive election. There are a number of places where we have opportunities for pickups, not many places where we have much chance of losing a seat. I think at the end of the day, we're gonna have a very narrow Senate one way or the other.

The Kentucky Republican expressed confidence about his party's odds in highly competitive races in Virginia and Massachusetts.

Republicans currently hold 47 seats in the Senate to Democrats' 51, plus independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont and independent Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, both of whom caucus with the Democrats and count toward their majority. The Senate's system of staggered elections heavily favors Republicans this year: 10 Republicans are up for re-election, compared with 23 Democrats, counting Lieberman and Sanders.