McConnell: ‘We Have a Lot of Democratic Presidential Wannabes Here in the Senate’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell / Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) joked Wednesday that his Democratic counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), could have an "attendance problem" as several Senate Democrats with presidential aspirations are likely to begin campaigning in the coming months.

"Schumer may have an attendance problem as he looks around to see who's in town when they're not in Iowa and New Hampshire, and we do apparently have a lot of Democratic presidential wannabes here in the Senate," McConnell said during an interview on Fox News. "It'll be interesting to see what they're up to."

McConnell was responding to a question from host Dana Perino, who noted that there are many Democrats in the Senate who are expected to run for president in 2020.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is one of the senators whose name has been floated as a possible presidential candidate. The Massachusetts Democrat recently said that she would "take a hard look at running for president" after the 2018 midterm elections.

Other potential presidential contenders include Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.), among others.

Harris and Booker have both visited Iowa, which holds the country's first caucuses in presidential elections. Harris has said that she is not ruling out a White House run, and Booker has said that "it would be irresponsible" not to consider a presidential bid.

Booker recently made headlines during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, when he threatened to release confidential documents which had already been cleared for release, calling it his "I am Spartacus" moment and prompting Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) to quip, "Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate."

A recent poll of potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates showed former Vice President Joe Biden leading with 29 percent support. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016, finished second with 22 percent. Booker, Harris, and Warren were tied.

With the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans will add to their majority in the Senate and end up with 54 seats, an increase of three. Republican challengers defeated Democratic incumbents in North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, and Florida, while Republican incumbent Dean Heller lost in Nevada.