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Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson has received fundraising help from some of the most senior Republican senators, but his primary rival for the state’s Senate seat, anti-tax activist Rand Paul, outraised him in the third quarter of 2009.

Mr. Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican and anti-tax firebrand, raised more than $1 million in the third quarter to Mr. Grayson’s $643,000.

Even if establishment Republican candidates end up beating their primary challengers, they will exhaust much of their energy and money in the process. The DSCC already has twice as much cash on hand as the NRSC, with $10.3. million to the NRSC’s $5.2. million, and 12 of 17 Democratic Senate candidates or incumbents currently enjoy substantial fundraising advantages over their closest Republican opponent.

Karl Rove, who helped elect President George W. Bush and served as his political mastermind in the White House, said that Democrats are trying to string together unique sets of circumstances in New York into an overly simplistic narrative.

Mr. Rove, who has contributed financially to Mr. Rubio’s campaign, acknowledged that the “unique election laws” in New York, which allowed county Republican Party chairmen to select Mrs. Scozzafava behind closed doors, roiled the right.

But, he said, “conservative challenges to establishment Republicans, like Marco Rubio’s challenge to Charlie Crist in Florida, will be resolved in primaries, which tend to leave parties more united than back-room selections like New York law mandated in the 23rd Congressional District special election.”

Democrats contend reality is far more black and white.

“The race in New York shows [Republicans] can’t be united,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.