Re-election trouble is brewing for longtime Republican senators in deep-red states, from South Carolina to Wyoming. And the trouble is from within.
The GOP's restive Tea Party and libertarian wings, energized by their titular leader, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and funded in part by starve-government groups like the Club for Growth, are waging 2014 Senate primary challenges in six states — and counting.
With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.
The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.
Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.
Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle. Campaign manager Jesse Benton said Friday the numbers reflect McConnell's strongest quarter to date for fundraising.
McConnell is facing challenges from Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes. He also has a primary opponent, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Neither of the two have yet released their fundraising totals.
McConnell's campaign said that he received donations from about 6,000 donors. Benton said the McConnell campaign will report nearly $10 million cash on hand.
McConnell is seeking re-election next year to a sixth term.
After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.
The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.
That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".
Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:36 pm
As House Republican leaders acquiesce to their Tea Party faction and tie a government spending renewal to the defunding of Obamacare, don't look for much cheering from the Senate minority leader's office.
That's because what had largely been House Speaker John Boehner's problem now becomes Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's problem — at least for the next steps of this drama.