Foes from left, right, try to oust Ky.'s McConnell

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Updated: Sat, 15 Feb 2014 09:14:25 EST

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Democrats and tea partyers dream of driving the U.S. Senate's Republican leader into retirement this year.

Democrats are weary of Mitch McConnell's opposition to President Barack Obama. But conservative die-hards say the Kentucky senator is too accommodating.

This left-right squeeze might not prove as harmful to McConnell as it first appears in one of his toughest elections in 30 years.

Tea partyers are unlikely to vote Democratic if McConnell survives their ire in the May primary. And McConnell's occasional dealmaking adds to his image as a can-do leader who delivers for Kentucky.

Serious contenders in both parties hope to knock him off in an expensive campaign.

McConnell could achieve his dream of being Senate majority leader if he wins re-election — and if Republicans net six more seats this fall.

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