GOP leader Kevin McCarthy could be in trouble as House Republicans face steep losses in November: report
Kevin McCarthy (CNBC/screen grab)

While a great deal of attention has been paid to Republicans likely losing control of the Senate in November's election with at least three GOP incumbents -- Thom Tillis (NC), Martha McSally (AZ) and Cory Gardner (CO) trailing badly in the polls -- Politico's Playbook points out that the Republican membership in the House is likely to shrink too.

And that could be bad news for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

In the 2018 midterm election, the GOP was decimated by what was described as a "blue wave" of election results that saw 40 Republicans lose their seats making Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the House Speaker again.

In what is expected to be a high turnout election with a highly unpopular Donald Trump heading the Republican ticket, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report is predicting a GOP loss of up to 15 seats -- which may make the rapidly diminishing numbers of surviving Republicans in the House look for new leadership.

In August the Washington Post reported that there are already rumblings of "discontent" with McCarthy who faced criticism over the 2018 debacle.

According to the Post's Rachael Bade, "A cluster of GOP lawmakers is starting to privately question whether the California Republican is putting loyalty to the president over the good of the conference. And a small group of members is discussing whether someone should challenge him for minority leader if Trump is defeated Nov. 3."

Speaking with Bade, a former House GOP leadership staffer Doug Heye admitted, "There’s no doubt that McCarthy is a Trump loyalist, through and through. I think the challenge for everyone in the Republican conference is, at some point there will be a post-Trump world — whether that’s coming in three months or later. What direction does the party go?”

As Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer of Politico wrote, their number show "the House Republican minority is likely to thin quite significantly after this election," adding that three more seats held by House Republicans (Reps. Anne Wagner (MO), Jim Hagedorn (MN) and Steve Chabot (OH) who first began serving in the House in 1995) are imperiled.

According to a report from the conservative Washington Examiner, McCarthy's job was expected to be on the line even if Republicans picked up a few seats while Trump lost.

Summing it up the Politico report asked the question: "Who in Republican leadership takes the fall if Republicans lose as many as 10 seats?"