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Looking at Mitch McConnell’s Map for the 2018 ‘Knife Fight’

The Kentucky Republican identifies a large number of toss-up contests

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is predicting a “knife fight” in November.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is predicting a “knife fight” in November.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 2018 midterms are setting up to be like a “knife fight in an alley,” according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Republican from Kentucky said he expects to see more of President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama on the campaign trail.

But McConnell, asked about whether Trump should be talking about the prospects of Democrats trying to impeach him, said, “I don’t have any advice to give him about what he says at the rallies.”

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday in Louisville, McConnell rattled off a list of 2018 Senate races he considers, “dead even.”

“Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and Florida. All of them too close to call and every one of them like a knife fight in an alley; I mean, just a brawl in every one of those places,” McConnell said. “I hope when the smoke clears, that we’ll still have a majority in the Senate.”

The majority leader’s view of the 2018 map generally tracks with the race ratings from Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales/Roll Call. The majority leader identified the five races that are on the Inside Elections Toss-up list, as well as three that only tilt in one direction or another.

Watch: “North Dakota Nice” Takes a Backseat 

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The closest thing to an outlier is McConnell’s position that the seat being vacated by the retirement of Tennessee Republican Bob Corker is a Toss-up. The current rating for that race is “Lean Republican.”

After running through the list, McConnell was asked about the prospects for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to win re-election.

“I think Ted’s got a competitive race by all indications. We certainly expect to win in Texas, but I think he does have a competitive race,” he said.

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