Mitch McConnell explains why the GOP is 'foolish' to hope Bernie Sanders is the nominee
Sen. Mitch McConnell, photo by Gage Skidmore

Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) holds a clear national lead in polls, concerns have begun to swirl about his electability. One recent study suggests that although Sanders pulls about the same numbers with registered voters against President Donald Trump as the other Democratic candidates, his support comes disproportionately from unlikely voters, and his opposition from unlikely voters.

Between this and his unconventional embrace of the socialism label, some Republicans have gleefully suggested they should support Sanders for the nomination, as he would be the easiest candidate to beat. Pro-Trump talk radio host Hugh Hewitt even said he'd vote for Sanders in his primary to try to boost Trump's re-election prospect.

But according to Politico, one key Republican is not so sure his party should be welcoming Sanders into this role: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

McConnell has warned his GOP colleagues that hoping for a Sanders nomination "may be a bit foolish" because for all of his apparent weaknesses, there is no guarantee he would lose.

"I'm reminded of when the Democrats back in 1980 were all pulling for Ronald Reagan to be the nominee because they thought he’d be the easiest to beat," said McConnell in conversation with reporters, after being asked whether a Sanders nomination would aid his efforts to hold the GOP Senate majority.

He added, "I think it's going to be a contested general election with a lot of energy on both sides and for myself I’ll leave it up to the Democrats to pick who they'd like to be their candidate."