Jan 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: New group to focus on McConnell attacks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks down a hallway at the Capitol
McConnell during a break in the impeachment trial. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Amid the impeachment trial, a new independent expenditure group called Fix Our Senate will launch on Tuesday to go after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, organizers tell Axios.

Why it matters: As a national political figure, McConnell is both extremely powerful and highly unpopular, with a favorability rating of 29.8% in the latest average of polls tracked by Real Clear Politics.

What they're saying: "McConnell is already the least popular politician in America — now, we’re going to shine a light on McConnell and every ally who supports him," the group's director, Joshua Karp, a Democratic strategist and communications consultant, tells us.

Details: The group plans to conduct and disseminate research on McConnell and his record and leadership strategies to share with activists and surrogates and shape opinion.

  • It will argue that McConnell is disproportionately responsible for wealth inequality, rising drug prices, conservative judicial confirmations, hyper-partisanship, legislative gridlock and the likely acquittal of President Trump in the Senate trial.
  • The group has ties to SEIU, Demand Justice, Indivisible, Protect Our Care and For Our Future.

Between the lines: Fix Our Senate will be established as a 501(c)(4) under the U.S. tax code. That means donors' identities may stay shielded. The group declined to share its budget.

The other side: McConnell adviser Josh Holmes told Axios that the group is "welcome to take a number and get in line" in order "to fleece donors into underwriting yet another expedition in search the left’s white whale."

Be smart: Polling shows Trump is more popular than McConnell. The new effort appears aimed less at trying to defeat McConnell in Kentucky and more at asking U.S. voters to broadly associate Republican candidates and policies with negative feelings about McConnell.

Go deeper