Big Democratic donors, local liberal activists and a left-leaning super PAC in Kentucky are telling tea partiers that they are poised to throw financial and organizational support behind a right-wing candidate should one try to defeat the powerful GOP leader in a 2014 primary fight.
The idea: Soften up McConnell and make him vulnerable in a general election in Kentucky, where Democrats still maintain a voter registration advantage. Or better yet, in their eyes: Watch Kentucky GOP primary voters nominate the 2014 version of Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock, weak candidates who may actually lose.
â€œWe are doing a lot of reaching out to some of the tea party folks across the state,â€ said Keith Rouda, a field organizer with the liberal group MoveOn and the Democratic super PAC, Progress Kentucky. â€œWhat weâ€™re finding â€” at least in this stage of the race â€” weâ€™re finding that our interests align. Itâ€™s unusual.â€
Progress Kentucky has begun circulating petitions urging Republicans to jump into the race, and Democratic donors active in Bluegrass State and national politics are privately making it clear theyâ€™re willing to help bankroll a tea party candidate. Neither the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee nor the Kentucky Democratic Party is involved in the unorthodox efforts at this point, officials said.
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