When Mitch McConnell was choosing whether or not to push through a Supreme Court nominee before the election, he was weighing his short-term and long-term priorities.
Short term: Hold on to the Senate in November.
Long term: Get another lifetime conservative appointment to the Supreme Court.
Polling says that most Americans think that the next President should nominate the next Supreme Court Justice. By going ahead with the nomination before the election, McConnell has decided that securing his judicial legacy is more important than remaining Majority Leader.
It’s probably the right choice. Regardless of his decision, Democrats look likely to retake the Senate and booting McConnell out of the Majority Leader’s office. The likelihood isn’t overwhelming, but the Senate usually goes the way of the presidency, and Biden has had a steady lead for months. No presidential candidate has been as steadily behind their opponent as Trump has been in 2020 since Bob Dole ran against Bill Clinton in 1996.
McConnell gets another Supreme Court Justice, but has to give up his job to Chuck Schumer. At 78, that may very well look like a good time to retire to Mitch.