McConnell "Optimistic" GOP Presidential Nomination Takes Second Ballot
Despite his status as a leading Republican figure, Kentucky’s senior senator has stayed on the sidelines during his party’s volatile primary season, but the GOP heavyweight offered a hint of his thoughts on the race over the weekend.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it a matter of policy not to inject his opinion into the debate, but in an interview with WHAS-TV he stressed that no candidate is assured the nomination until he reaches the set delegate threshold.
"When a nominee gets to 1,237, he will actually be the candidate. If he doesn't, there will be a second ballot and about 60 percent of the delegates who were bound on the first ballot will be free to do whatever they want to on the second ballot. And I'm increasingly optimistic that there actually may be a second ballot," he said.
That answers suggests McConnell does not want to see Donald Trump get the nod. While the Senate leader has stayed mum in public, the New York Times reported that McConnell told colleagues earlier this year that down-ballot Republican candidates could drop the fiery business mogul “like a hot rock.”
McConnell dismissed suggestions that a group of insiders could handpick a candidate not currently in the race, saying the decision will come down to the delegates.