Science

Mitch McConnell’s $200 Million Run for Control of the Senate – “The Takeout”

If you had more than $200 million to spend, how would you spend it?

That’s the question Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) President Steven Law is facing this fall. It is his job to round out the unlimited donations his organization receives in order to strengthen Republican chances of taking back the Senate.

Superpack, which is aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, may not coordinate directly with campaigns, but it will spend heavily on races (mostly TV ads) depending on the turnout and how much those campaigns have fueled themselves.

There are 35 Senate seats to play for in November, with the most competitive races being in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Law was this week’s guest on “The Takeout,” hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett. They spoke on Tuesday afternoon.

Echoing McConnell’s recent comments that it’s more likely that control of the House will be flipped to Republicans this November than to the Senate’s case, Law said he also thinks Democrats have been in the Senate since the recent GOP Will keep his narrow majority in the middle. It faced adversity, such as the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling and the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.

But the law is sharp on many races Republicans would need to win to achieve a 51-seat majority, and says Republicans have the best chance of reversing Democrat-held seats in Nevada and, perhaps surprisingly, New Hampshire.

“In Nevada, we have an unusually strong challenger. And in New Hampshire, we have a surprisingly weak incumbent,” Law said.

Adam Laxalt wins the Republican primary in Nevada, and polling shows New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan is in a tight race. But the law’s aspirations for a potential Granite State pickup could dwindle a bit after Tuesday’s primary. Chuck Morse, the mainstream GOP candidate the law indicated his group would support in the general election, lost to Donald Trump-allied candidate Donald Bolduc in the Republican primary this week.

White Mountain PAC, an organization created two weeks before the New Hampshire primary, invested nearly $5 million in negative ads against Bolduc. It is not clear whether SLF or McConnell is behind White Mountain PAC in some capacity. PAC will have to disclose its donors next week.

Law said the SLF is agnostic when it comes to the Republican primary.

Pundits also point to Georgia as a place where Republicans can defeat a Democrat – sitting Senator Raphael Warnock.

Challenger Herschel Walker, despite a series of unpleasant news over the summer, has remained within striking distance in recent polling.

“I don’t think he’s a weak candidate anymore,” Law said, citing Walker’s work ethic on the campaign trail. “What he’s doing is building policy chops and everything else.”

But the SLF has redirected some funds from at least one candidate, pulling back $8 million in ad purchases from an Arizona race in August where Trump-backed Blake Masters, a political nascent, is challenging Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly. is giving. SLF doesn’t plan to go back to the air in Arizona until October.

The legislation would reduce any friction between McConnell and Florida’s National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott, who have clashed over Republican midterm messaging.

“I don’t know if it matters at the end of the day,” Law said, acknowledging that Republican-on-Republican tensions seem “a little noisier” than in past election cycles.

Law said it accepted the results of the 2020 election, despite “some fraud” on the margins, which did not affect the overall result. He is confident that the 2022 election results will reflect the will of the voters.

Highlight,

  • Pennsylvania Senate Race: “Dr. (Mehmet) Oz… has really stepped up. He’s in the air. I think their ad is good. And then John Fetterman faced significant difficulties, some of them health-related. Also, as his record shows, he has defended such crimes which are very difficult to defend in this environment, as voters are concerned about it as an issue.”
  • Can the GOP Get a Majority Without Pennsylvania? “We could. It just makes it harder because we’ve got to take more seats that Democrats currently hold. And there aren’t a lot of them competitive.”
  • Larry Hogan and Maryland Senate Seats: “Steven Law: We even took a flyer on Governor Hogan in Maryland. We didn’t really think he’d do that, but we thought we might catch him in a vulnerable moment. But it didn’t work out.”

Executive Producer: Arden Farhik

Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sarah Cook and Eleanor Watson

CBSN Production: Erik Sausanin

Show Email: TakeoutPodcast@cbsnews.com

Twitter: @TakeoutPodcast

Instagram: @TakeoutPodcast

Facebook: Facebook.com/TakeoutPodcast Executive Producer: Arden Farhi

Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sarah Cook and Eleanor Watson

CBSN Production: Erik Sausanin
Show Email: TakeoutPodcast@cbsnews.com
Twitter: @takeoutpodcast
Instagram: @TakeoutPodcast
Facebook: Facebook.com/TakeoutPodcast

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