Dem 50
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Ties 1
GOP 49
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Senate Republicans Pick Mitch McConnell as Their Leader

Senate Republicans met yesterday to elect a new leader. This was not the shouty lunch meeting; that was on Tuesday. There were two candidates, Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott, who has been in the official Senate doghouse since Tuesday. Given the NRSC's dismal performance under Scott's leadership, it is not surprising that McConnell won. But the vote was surprisingly close: 37-10. It could have been 46-1. Scott is not as unifying a candidate as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whom the other 99 senators all hate. But the Floridian is probably in the #2 slot now. He may not realize it yet, but any plans he has to challenge Ron DeSantis for the role of #1 alternative to Donald Trump are completely pointless. Scott's own caucus doesn't even like him.

Republicans hope that the quick leadership election will put the squabbling behind them so they can now focus on the Georgia runoff on Dec. 6. Unlike in the House, this is it. McConnell will be the Republican leader. The Senate does not have a speaker or any other officer chosen by the entire Senate, like the House does. Over in the House, Kevin McCarthy has to run for election as speaker on Jan. 3, and if enough members of his caucus defect, he could lose. McConnell does not have that problem. (V)

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