November 8th, 2012
1 hour ago
(CNN) - Despite a disappointing showing by Republican Senate candidates on Election Day, the man who spearheaded the GOP Senate election effort is poised to take the number two position in the party's leadership behind Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, several GOP aides told CNN.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is expected next Wednesday to be elected by members of the Republican caucus to become the Minority Whip. He will replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona.
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His promotion was essentially solidified Thursday after potential rival Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference is the third-ranking Republican, announced he would seek re-election to that post and not run to move up.
One GOP aide explained that there is not a consensus among Republican senators that Cornyn is to blame for the poor results at the polls that saw the Democrats expand their majority in a year Republicans were widely believed to have a good shot at taking control of the Senate.
"We had candidates who made mistakes that were beyond Sen. Cornyn's control," the aide said referencing Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana, both of whom made controversial and costly comments about rape during their campaigns.
As the whip, Cornyn will be in charge of counting and corralling votes for and against legislation on the floor. He will also have a prominent voice in setting and articulating GOP priorities nationally. He will be in a position to help the Republican Party which he said after the Senate losses requires a period of "reflection and recalibration."
One aide said it is possible for other senators to choose to run against Cornyn but it appears that the leadership is largely taking shape at this point.