McConnell says classic political formula propelled Massie, plays up Obama's performance in Ky.

05/30/2012 04:50 PM

Money and a solid campaign plan were the main factors that propelled Thomas Massie to the GOP nomination for Congress in Northern Kentucky’s 4th District, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said.

McConnell, a proponent of more money in politics, said the combination of the libertarian-leaning super PAC Liberty for All spending more than a half-million dollars and Massie’s own fundraising helped him spread his message farther and thicker than the other candidates in the seven-person primary.

“I think it show if you spend one-million dollars and run a good campaign you’re likely to win,” McConnell said. “Massie ran a very effective campaign. There was an outside group who spent a lot of money on his behalf, it was a crowded field. Good campaign. Well funded generally wins, and that’s what happened.”

Unlike in 2010 when McConnell endorsed Trey Grayson in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, he stayed neutral in this spring’s GOP 4th District primary. This time it was Sen. Rand Paul who got involved by backing Massie.

McConnell has favored unlimited contributions from donors in elections — as long as it comes with transparency. The advent of super PACs so far have allowed for half of that — unlimited contributions.

McConnell, meanwhile, has more than $5 million on hand in his 2014 re-election account and as of now no Democratic challenger.

As for McConnell’s other election take-away, he called President Barack Obama’s 58 percent against “uncommitted” in Tuesday’s Democratic primary a “stunning development.”

“The only people to go out in primary that there’s no interest in would be the most active involved Democrat, and nobody reported that 42% of most active involved Democrats, the kind of people who would go out and vote in primary in which there was no suspense, 42% of them preferred uncommitted to the president of the United States,” Sen. McConnell told Pure Politics.

While the Republican leader agrees the presidential race will not be competitive in Kentucky, McConnell thinks Kentucky’s primary results could be the beginning of bad news for President Obama in other states.

“I can’t believe that’s a Kentucky phenomenon. You have a lot of active Democrats who think the president has done a poor job, so I think he’s got a lot of problems with his own political base.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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