Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has more than $5 million in cash on hand for his 2014 reelection campaign after raising more than $1 million in the first quarter of this year, according to staff.
McConnell's fundraising, detailed in a quarterly FEC report his campaign committee will file this week, shows the Republican leader is maintaining focus on his own electoral hopes even as he works to help his party pick up the four Senate seats that would almost surely make him Majority Leader in 2013.
McConnell's campaign has looked to the 2010 reelection campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as a model and a measuring post. McConnell is currently acquiring cash on hand at about twice the pace Reid was heading into a 2010 cycle, a supporter noted. Reid raised roughly $25 million in that race.
McConnell's backers make no bones about their hope that a big early cash haul will deter possible 2014 challengers from either party from getting into the race.
The GOP leader doesn't take National Republican Senatorial Committee funds, but can also count on plenty of outside fundraising help. Earlier this month, a super PAC, called Bluegrass Votes, registered with the FEC, and will back McConnell's reelection bid.