ABC News' David Chalian Reports: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't appear to think electability is at issue in the heated Republican primary for Senate taking place in his home state of Kentucky next Tuesday.
Sen. McConnell recently took the unusual step of choosing sides in a high profile intra-party battle at home when he endorsed Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the national Republican establishment favorite, over opthamologist and tea party favorite Rand Paul who is the son of former presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul.
“Look, we've got a unity rally scheduled for the Saturday after the Tuesday primary. We'll all be there supporting the nominee. I think there's an excellent chance that Kentucky will keep this seat in Republican hands and we're going to be there to support the winner,” McConnell said on ABC News/Washington Post’s “Top Line” political webcast today.
When pressed whether or not that chance lessens if Grayson doesn’t survive the primary, McConnell refused to make that case.
“Look I think there's a good chance we'll hold this seat. Kentucky's in a pretty Republican frame of mind right now. We've gone back and forth. We went for Bill Clinton twice, so we're not a dependably red state but I think Kentucky's in a pretty Republican mood this year,” McConnell said.
“I think we'll be able to elect a Republican senator regardless of the outcome of the primary,” he added.
Sen. McConnell’s effort to lay the groundwork for party unity after the primary comes as Dr. Paul has been leading Trey Grayson in nearly all the recent polling in the Kentucky GOP primary.
After securing victory last weekend at the Utah Republican Party convention and ousting Sen. Bob Bennett from seeking a fourth term , tea party activists and others in the conservative Republican base are looking toward the May 18 Kentucky primary and a possible Grayson defeat as their next big target of opportunity to display some electoral muscle in this volatile midterm election year.