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Surprise: McConnell reelection lacks Tea Party support in Senate


A new poll out this week suggests that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be vulnerable in his reelection to the U.S. Senate and, according to NBC News, Tea Party favorites are decidedly hesitant in offering their endorsements to the Kentucky Republican.

(Image: AP)

NBC News reports:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the biggest Republican target that some in the tea party have ever set their sights on -- and the 2014 candidate that Democrats are most eager to take down.

That will all burst into view this Saturday, when the five-term senator will have to share the stage in Fancy Farm, Ky., with tea party-backed businessman Matt Bevin and Democratic Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Grimes, both newly minted candidates trying to unseat him. Bevin is attacking him for cutting deals with Democrats. Grimes is blaming him for the capital's gridlock and dysfunction. [...]

Bevin could spend millions of his own money in his quest to knock off the man who has been the top Senate Republican since 2007. And even some of McConnell's current Senate colleagues -- particularly those who were themselves little-known tea party candidates before they won races that the national party never thought they were supposed to win -- aren't necessarily backing McConnell in the May 2014 primary.

"That's a decision for the people of Kentucky to make," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said when asked on Thursday if he planned to support McConnell over Bevin.

"I think Sen. McConnell is very capable of taking that challenge on himself," said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., adding that he doesn't typically involve himself in primaries. "Pretend we never talked," he said, laughing.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, agreed to stop and talk to a reporter about a push he's leading to defund the president's health care law. "I would love to have him," he said when asked if he wants McConnell's support for that initiative.

Asked a follow up question about whether he planned to support Bevin or McConnell, Lee said: "You've gone off topic. Thank you though."

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