National Journal ranks McConnell in top 10 most at risk of losing a primary as Bevin hits back in new ad

08/07/2013 07:44 AM

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell might still be the “heavy favorite” to win the GOP nomination next year, but the National Journal still ranked him as the ninth most at-risk lawmaker of losing a 2014 primary.

McConnell fell just behind Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who is facing Liz Cheney — the daughter of the former vice president. And McConnell was just ahead of Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at number 10 in the rankings, according to National Journal reporter Shane Goldmacher.

Goldmacher wrote that McConnell’s early efforts on the airwaves to “snuff out” the challenge by Louisville businessman Matt Bevin underscore McConnell’s concerns.

“McConnell’s continued unpopularity in Kentucky, a new tea party opponent with his own money to spend, the potential entry of other outside conservative groups, and even Democrats hoping to meddle in GOP primary season help land him on this list,” Goldmacher wrote.

As if on cue, Bevin launched a new ad Wednesday that hits back at McConnell’s first spot that began airing last month dubbing him “Bailout Bevin.” The ad refers to fact checkers, such as the Washington Post , that questioned the use of the label “Bailout Bevin” because there was no evidence Bevin accepted any government money beyond the $200,000 to help rebuild his family’s bell factory that burned down in a lightning strike.

Bevin’s ad accuses McConnell of being all about the bailout, citing the government funds for banks that Congress approved at the start of the recession in 2008. Here’s the ad:

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