Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) plans to continue leading the GOP even if Democrats secure the majority of seats next January.

Asked Tuesday if he intends to continue leading the GOP even if he would be the Minority Leader, McConnell replied: “I do.”

McConnell is the longest-serving Republican leader in history, passing former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas) two years ago, and support for him among Republicans remains unwavering.

“I’d prefer to have him be my majority leader,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) told Politico. “I have no objections to Sen. McConnell remaining the Republican leader in the Senate, majority or minority.”


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Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) said he expects “him to be the leader whether we’re in the majority or the minority, and I’d support that.”

Even the two Republicans most likely to succeed McConnell, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas0 and Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-South Dakota), are not eager to see him step down.

“Mitch McConnell will be our leader as long as he’s still interested in the job,” Cornyn said. “After he leaves that position, I would be interested in succeeding him.”

Thune called hopes of becoming the GOP’s leader “speculative and hypothetical.”

“When I look at the presidential race, timing is everything in politics. At the moment, that’s not something I aspire to,” Thune said.

He also noted: “The leader’s made it clear that he wants to continue to serve and he enjoys great confidence in the conference. My expectation is that, irrespective of what happens in November, he’ll continue to lead the Republican Conference.”

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