Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell defeated challenger Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and was re-elected as Senate minority leader Wednesday with a vote of 37-10.

McConnell said at a news conference Wednesday that the Republican Party’s failure to pick up seats and win the majority in the Senate can be blamed on too much chaos and too much negativity by Republican candidates.  Said McConnell:  “Here’s the problem .. We underperformed among voters who did not like President Biden’s performance, among independents and among moderate Republicans who looked at us and concluded too much chaos, too much negativity, and we turned off a lot of these centrist voters, which is why I never predicted a red wave to begin with.”

McConnell’s secret ballot win over Scott happened after a motion by 16 GOP senators to delay the leadership election was defeated. GOP senators called for auditing the National Republican Senatorial Committee, after Sen. Scott accused former committee chair Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., of paying unauthorized and improper bonuses to committee staff in 2020. Citing a letter Scott sent to GOP senator’s seeking their votes, Scott reportedly said “it’s time for Senate Republican conference to be far more bold and resolute that we have been in the past.”

Editorial credit: mark reinstein /

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