The GOP as we know it is ‘dead’ after Democrats clinched victory in the Senate with a critical win in Nevada, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said on Saturday night.
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, who had the backing of both Donald Trump and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, after mail-in ballots from reliably blue Clark County and also from Washoe County allowed her to narrowly overtake her rival.
Sources close to Laxalt’s campaign told DailyMail.com on Friday that the GOP ex-Nevada attorney general was ‘bracing for a loss’ – a report that he and his team furiously denied before the results came to fruition.
As of Sunday morning, Cortez Masto’s lead is just over 6,000 ballots ahead of Laxalt.
Her victory buries Republican chances of taking power in the Senate for the next two years.
‘The old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new,’ Hawley wrote on Twitter just before 10pm ET on Saturday.
If the GOP wins the only remaining race, Georgia’s December runoff, the chamber’s makeup will be exactly the same as it is now – 50 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
But even before the nail in the Senate GOP’s coffin was laid on Saturday night, prominent players in the party had already resigned themselves to defeat and finger-pointing had begun.
Hawley directly laid blame with party leaders in an interview with RealClearPolitics, telling the outlet on Friday: ‘I did not agree with failing to have any kind of an agenda to run on in these midterms.’
Florida Sen. Rick Scott, whose sole mission as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee was to get members of his party elected to form a majority, called the showing a ‘complete disappointment’ on Friday.
Hawley is among a growing number of Republican lawmakers calling to delay leadership elections
‘I think we didn’t have enough of a positive message. We said everything about how bad the Biden agenda was. It’s bad, the Democrats are radical, but we have to have a plan of what we stand for,’ Scott told Sean Hannity on Fox News.
They and other Republican senators have also made clear that the knives are out – and reportedly aimed at McConnell.
Blake Masters, who lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in Arizona, made clear that he laid blame solely at McConnell’s feet.
Hawley told RealClearPolitics that he is ‘not going to support the current leadership in the party’ in the looming Senate GOP leadership elections next week, which he and others have called to postpone.
He and fellow GOP Sen. Marco Rubio called for the elections to be postponed, as have Scott and two other Republicans who survived surprisingly fierce electoral challengers – Sens. Ron Johnson and Mike Lee.
‘Holding leadership elections without hearing from the candidates as to how they will perform their leadership duties and before we know whether we will be in the majority or even who all our members are violates the most basic principles of a democratic process,’ Scott, Johnson, and Lee wrote in a letter, according to Politico.
But Senate GOP leaders are aiming to squash the rebellion and forge ahead next week.
Democratic incumbent Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, multiple outlets have projected
In another surprising twist defying pollster’s expectations, Democrats also have a nonzero chance of keeping the House of Representatives as of Sunday morning.
President Joe Biden’s party currently holds 204 seats in the new Congress according to the Associated Press, while Republicans control 211.
Key victories in Washington state on Saturday have buoyed Democratic hopes along with the win in Nevada.
Washington’s conservative 3rd Congressional District was won by moderate Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto-shop owner, over Trump-backed retired Green Beret Joe Kent.
The district was narrowly won by Trump in 2020, and Republican voters there chose to boot their current congresswoman, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, in the GOP primary after she voted to impeach the ex-president in 2021.
Rep. Kim Schrier defeated a Republican primary challenger in Washington’s 8th Congressional District to win a third term.
Schrier had flipped the seat in 2018, which was under GOP control for over two decades at that point.