Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader known for his non-prisoner tactics, was elected to a seventh term on Tuesday, defeating Amy McGrath, a Democrat who struggled to gain traction despite a wave financial support from supporters of his party. the nation.
Mr McConnell campaigned at home to explain how he had used his position as one of Washington’s most powerful figures to deliver benefits to Kentucky – a constant theme throughout her decades in the Senate – and portrayed Ms McGrath as too liberal and inexperienced for the conservative state.
“Tonight the people of Kentuck said, ‘We are not done yet,'” McConnell told supporters in Louisville. “Kentucky wants more policies that have built the best economy in our country’s modern history – not socialism.”
His victory, as the Associated Press called it, came as Mr McConnell fought to retain the title of majority leader, which was in jeopardy as Democrats attempted to claim control of the Senate in competitive races Across the country.
Because of his staunch resistance to Democratic priorities since the Obama administration, Mr McConnell had become a prime target of Democratic anger, amplified again in recent days as he passed Supreme Court confirmation of the Judge Amy Coney Barrett just a week before the election. This followed his decision to block President Barack Obama from sending Judge Merrick B. Garland to court months before the 2016 election, when he said voters should decide who held the office.
Ms McGrath, a former Navy combat pilot, assaulted Mr McConnell for focusing on exercising his power in Washington, arguing it was at the expense of caring for the Kentuckians, and for having failed to deliver a pandemic relief program before Congress left for the election.
Despite raising more than $ 80 million, Ms McGrath, who lost a candidate for the House election in 2018, followed Mr McConnell in the polls throughout the race. Some Democrats said they believed Charles Booker, an African-American lawmaker from Louisville who lost the primary to Ms McGrath, would have made a stronger challenger, but defeated the majority leader in a year with the president Trump on the ballot was still ongoing. be difficult.
Mr. McConnell, 78, is second after Mr. Trump as an enemy of the Democrats. Some see him as worse than the president, because his handling of the Senate has been crucial in blocking Democratic priorities for years and then helping Mr. Trump achieve his goals, particularly the installation of over 200 new federal judges, including three at the Supreme Court. .
With Washington in a period of legislative deadlock, Mr McConnell decided to focus on confirming the Tory justices, as this could be done without any votes from the Democratic minority under a series of partisan changes to Senate rules since 2013. The assembly’s effort succeeded beyond Mr. McConnell’s expectations when he was able to bring Judge Barrett to court. Democrats have vowed to demand retaliation and potentially expand the Supreme Court if they gain control of the Senate.
Democrats have beaten Senate Republicans in fundraising in this election, alarming some Republicans, who now say they want to review fundraising laws. Those lawmakers do not include Mr McConnell, a longtime opponent of campaign funding restrictions, who noted he had more than a million individual donors this year. He said Republicans need to replicate Democrats’ success.
As he tried to restrain Ms McGrath, Mr McConnell reminded voters that his defeat and loss of the Senate majority would hurt Kentucky.
“If elected, my opponent’s first vote would transfer the post of Majority Leader from Kentucky to New York City, putting Kentucky and our needs at the back of the pack behind the East Coast Liberals,” Mr. McConnell, referring to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. , the leader of the minority.