What is interesting ! Because Oz is far from alone among Republican Senate hopefuls who are unwilling to show their loyalty to McConnell if the GOP ends up taking control of the Senate in the midterm elections.
All of this raises an important question: If the Republicans win a majority in the Senate, will McConnell have the votes to be elected to lead them?
Which is, yes, a bit like putting the cart before the horse. Right now, the fight for control of the Senate is widely seen as a toss-up, with Democrats seen as having the advantage in terms of money and the quality of candidates. And if the likes of Oz, Masters and Vance don’t make it to the Senate, it doesn’t matter if they voted for McConnell as leader or not.
But if these candidates end up winning, they will be forced to confront their past statements about McConnell.
And, of course, there is Donald Trump. The former president has made no secret of his dislike of McConnell and openly campaigned for another Republican to take him as leader. But so far, there have been no takers.
“Unfortunately, many of the same people responsible for the loss of the Senate in the last cycle are now trying to keep us from winning a majority this time around by bashing our Republican nominees,” Scott wrote. “It’s an act of incredible cowardice, and ultimately, it’s a betrayal of the Conservative cause.”
My strong feeling is that despite all the talk of their differences with McConnell, the likes of Oz, Masters and Vance would find a way to vote for him as Majority Leader if faced with the opportunity in early 2023 . Why ? For two main reasons:
2) It is not clear that they would have other options. Scott seems much more focused on running for president than running for Senate Republican leader. And other Senate Republicans who have a constituency in the conference — like, say, John Thune of South Dakota — aren’t going to challenge McConnell.
So, at the end of the day, this is all probably just political posturing. But McConnell, always the deliberate and cautious political tactician, is probably taking no chances.