moscow mitch

Mitch McConnell whines about GOP “candidate quality”… So why is he supporting so many of them?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell shared his grim projection for Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections, but don’t believe a word the dude says.

Speaking at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week, McConnell was asked about how he thought his party might fare in November.

“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” the 80-year-old senator, who has first elected in 1985, said. “Senate races are just different. They’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”

Related: Video of Mitch McConnell falling recirculates after he immediately politicizes RBG’s death

He continued, “Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly.”

Naturally, this had a lot of people on the left celebrating. After all, if the chief obstructionist/de facto leader of the Republican party says he doesn’t think his side is going to win in November, it must be a good sign for Democrats, right?

Not so fast.

Moscow Mitch is an evil genius.

While many liberals hear a guy telling his party to brace for defeat in the fall, many conservatives hear something totally different. For them, it’s rallying cry. “Get the hell out and cast those ballots,” McConnell is saying. “Things are extremely close. All we need is one more seat and we’ve got this.”

In other words, it’s a cynical “get out the vote” strategy. And it’s one that tends to work on GOP voters particularly well. (It’s how we ended up with Donald Trump, after all.)

A lot of people are onto this little trick of McConnell’s…

McConnell is right about one thing. Republicans do have a serious issue with “candidate quality.”

When it comes to U.S. Senate candidates, they’ve nominated accused domestic abuser/ex-NFL star Herschel Walker in Georgia, crudité-loving TV doctor Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, transphobic Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance in Ohio, and psychotic Trump sycophant Blake Masters in Arizona. All of these guys are cartoon character candidates with zero experience working in government, deeply problematic pasts, and strong anti-LGBTQ leanings.

Related: That time anti-LGBTQ candidate Blake Masters went to the gay wedding of his biggest financial backer

If McConnell really cared about their “quality”, however, he wouldn’t be supporting a bunch of them. He endorsed Walker way back in October, saying he’s “the only one who can unite the party.” And a PAC he’s closely tied to just announced that it will be funnelling $28 million (yes, $28 million) worth of TV and radio ads to support Vance.

Related: J.D. Vance opposes protecting his own interracial marriage because he hates gay people so much

The reality is Democrats are extremely vulnerable and McConnell knows it. The latest projection from gay statistician Nate Silver has Republicans favored to win the House and Democrats only slightly favored to keep the Senate. And with the midterm elections still 80 days away, there’s still plenty of time for those fortunes to change. Even though he says the opposite, McConnell appears to be betting on Republicans squeaking out a victory.

While you’re here, watch McConnell’s super tense sit-down with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan back in April when Swan questioned his “moral red line” in front of a live audience: