The Senate Conservatives Fund has taken an antagonistic stand against McConnell for months, including by running ads demanding that he support the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare. 

But the new poll is the clearest sign yet that they're likely to spend heavily to defeat the minority leader.

"There's no question that if Kentucky Republicans nominated Matt Bevin it would be a huge victory for the state and for the entire country. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE has a liberal record, he's unwilling to stand up to President Obama, and he's so unpopular that he could cost Republicans the seat," SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins says in a statement.

"The question is whether Matt Bevin can win given how much money he's up against and how dishonest McConnell is. We've done extensive polling and research on this race and there's definitely a pathway to victory for Bevin, but he won't win unless the grassroots rise up," Hoskins said. "That's why we're seeking input from our members in Kentucky and across the country to see if the support is there to win this race."