Senate GOP leader endorses Romney

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule MORE (Ky.) said Tuesday he supports Mitt Romney's bid to win the Republican presidential nomination.

"I support Mitt Romney for president of the United States," McConnell said.

He predicted Romney would be the nominee and said the GOP is unifying behind his campaign.

McConnell's announcement came hours after House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE (R-Ohio) said he would back Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has been lining up party leaders and establishment Republicans behind his bid, particularly after rival Rick Santorum exited the presidential campaign.

"We're all looking forward to the fall campaign, which is already under way," McConnell said.

McConnell cited a recent tracking poll showing Romney ahead of President Obama by a few points in a hypothetical match-up.

The GOP leader urged his party to unify behind Romney during a television appearance earlier this month.

Romney still faces Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the primary process, but the two of them are unlikely to catch up to him the delegate count, leaving Romney the likely nominee.