In recent weeks, the Senate majority leader has become so concerned over Republicans losing control of the Senate that he has signaled to vulnerable GOP senators in tough races that they could distance themselves from the President if they feel it is necessary, according to multiple senior Republicans including a source close to McConnell.
That could mean breaking with Trump on the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the continued efforts by the President to paint an optimistic picture despite rising cases and deaths across parts of the country, especially in many Republican states in the South and Midwest…
[T]he size of a net defeat for the GOP matters. Even if they lose control of the majority, Senate Republicans can effectively play defense against Democratic legislation with a large enough minority and a handful of moderate Democratic defectors. But if GOP losses in the Senate are too great, their ability to use the filibuster to force a supermajority vote to proceed on legislation will be rendered meaningless.
“Even if we lose the majority, it matters that we have 49 seats,” said the senior Republican on the Hill. “If we have 45, we can’t stop (with) the filibuster. Every seat counts.”