Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Mnuchin: Tax reform shouldn't add to the deficit Trump taps NY Jets owner to be UK Ambassador MORE (R-Ky.) raised $1.8 million during the first quarter of the year and has about $8.6 million cash on hand for his reelection bid, a daunting sum for any potential challenger to match.
Campaign manager Jesse Benton confirmed to The Hill the sum, first reported by the Associated Press, which McConnell's campaign will post in its quarterly filing this month.
Democrats have yet to front a candidate; a number of potential contenders, including actress Ashley Judd, have all ruled out a bid. Democrats are focusing on Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes as the most likely contender at this point, but she hasn't yet made up her mind.
Danny Briscoe, a Kentucky Democratic strategist, told the AP that McConnell's lack of a challenger is giving him an open field in terms of fundraising.
"Without an opponent, nobody else is raising money. He's got the whole universe to himself," he said.
But Democrats believe they have a chance to flip the seat, and any credible Democrat who runs is likely to draw millions from outside groups nationwide.