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Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, faces a well-funded test from the right. (Associated Press)

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Republican challenger Matt Bevin said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to embrace the "defund Obamacare" strategy shows he's out of step with the Kentucky Republican voters. (Associated Press)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

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** FILE ** Republican challenger Matt Bevin said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to embrace the "defund Obamacare" strategy shows he's out of step with the Kentucky Republican voters. (Associated Press)

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U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, greets supporters during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)

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U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, greets supporters during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., waits for the arrival of the University of Louisville men's basketball team being honored for their 2013 NCAA championship, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., waits for the arrival of the University of Louisville men's basketball team being honored for their 2013 NCAA championship, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, following a Republican policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** From left: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden participate in a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 19, 2013. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, answers questions from reporters following a GOP strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., answers questions from reporters following a Republican strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely to gain a Republican rival, a tea party-backed businessman, although other groups with "tea party" in their names support him. (Associated Press)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely to gain a Republican rival, a tea party-backed businessman, although other groups with "tea party" in their names support him. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, following a Republican policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, following a Republican policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (left) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are sparring on the eve of a session to change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Obama's nominations to win confirmation. Mr. Reid says the changes are minimal; Mr. McConnell says Mr. Reid would be "breaking the rules in order to change the rules." (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (left) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are sparring on the eve of a session to change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Obama's nominations to win confirmation. Mr. Reid says the changes are minimal; Mr. McConnell says Mr. Reid would be "breaking the rules in order to change the rules." (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (left) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are sparring on the eve of a session to change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Obama's nominations to win confirmation. Mr. Reid says the changes are minimal; Mr. McConnell says Mr. Reid would be "breaking the rules in order to change the rules." (Associated Press)

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In this image from Senate Television, Republican leader Mitch McConnell speaks on the Senate floor in Washington on July 11, 2013. (Associated Press/Senate TV)