LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Despite Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's sagging poll numbers and increasing unpopularity, Sen. Mitch McConnell believes the billionaire businessman can still win the general election.
McConnell - the GOP leader in the Senate - said Thursday his party is better off with Trump staying on the ticket rather than dropping out at this point in the race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"He's the nominee," McConnell said in an interview with WYMT. "We're going to fight our way through this."
McConnell did offer Trump some advice.
"I think he needs to talk about the condition of the country," McConnell said. "After eight years of Barack Obama, are Americans satisfied with where we are? If they are, they ought to vote for Hillary Clinton."
"Donald Trump is the answer to taking America in a new direction. That's what I would be talking about if I was the nominee."
McConnell spoke at three stops in southeastern Kentucky Thursday.
After addressing the London - Laurel County Chamber of Commerce, McConnell told WYMT the 2016 election cycle will be "very competitive" as Republicans try to defend 24 Senate seats, compared to 10 for the Democrats.
McConnell predicts this election cycle will be "very competitive" as Republicans try to defend 24 Senate seats, compared to 10 for the Democrats.
"It's going to be close," McConnell said.
The state's senior senator also used Thursday's events to tout the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which provides millions of new federal dollars to treat and prevent the abuse of opioids.
President Obama signed the measure into law after Congress passed it overwhelmingly.
"The communities that are really suffering need to take a look at the bill and go after some of that funding," McConnell said.
McConnell also made stops in Manchester and Barbourville Thursday.