Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., age 80, beat challenger Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., to be re-elected as Senate minority leader Wednesday. The vote was 37-10.

The failure of Republicans to generate their expected “red wave” in the midterm elections has roiled the party.

McConnell said at a news conference Wednesday that the Republican Party’s failure to pick up seats and win the majority in the Senate can be blamed on too much chaos and too much negativity by Republican candidates.

“Here’s the problem,” McConnell said. “We underperformed among voters who did not like President Biden’s performance, among independents and among moderate Republicans who looked at us and concluded too much chaos, too much negativity, and we turned off a lot of these centrist voters, which is why I never predicted a red wave to begin with.”

McConnell’s secret ballot win over Scott happened after a motion by 16 GOP senators to delay the leadership election was defeated.

As GOP senators called for auditing the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Scott accused former committee chair Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., of paying unauthorized and improper bonuses to committee staff in 2020.

Citing a letter Scott sent to GOP senator’s seeking their votes, NBC News said Scott told them it’s time for Senate Republican conference to be “far more bold and resolute that we have been in the past.”

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was nominated by his party to be House speaker as the GOP was one seat short of winning a majority in the House. But the 188-31 nomination vote was short of the 218 votes he will need to actually become House Speaker.

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