There were tough questions in March; there are tougher questions now.
Over the course of two hours this spring, the Republican Party of Kentucky's executive committee sat in a steamy room in Bowling Green posing questions about the presidential preference caucus U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was asking them to unanimously approve.
During a closed-door session, as reporters watched a University of Kentucky basketball game in a break room down the hall, one committee member rose with a pointed question for Paul: What are the odds you can win the Republican presidential nomination?
"One in five, one in six," Paul responded, according to people who were in the room.
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Back then, a month before Paul announced his run for president, it was all just theories and guessing, and those odds were a dream compared to where they are now.
Nobody knew what Paul's campaign would look like, but perhaps more importantly, nobody knew what a caucus would look like.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie rose to call for a show of party unity, drawing eye-rolls from some establishment Republicans in the room, but the case was made that a strong show of support was needed.
And since there was no actual proposal in front of them, arms could be twisted; the nuts and bolts and details of holding a caucus would come later.
Later comes next Saturday, when nearly 350 members of the party's state central committee will review and vote on plans for a caucus. They will either allow Paul to proceed with his plans to run for president and re-election to the U.S. Senate at the same time or do irreparable harm to a campaign that is already taking on water.
The biggest questions facing committee members and Paul remain the same: How much will it cost and how does Paul plan to pay for it?
From the beginning, Paul's team has promised to cover the full cost of holding a caucus in March, separate from the traditional May primary election.
But committee members, leery of being left holding the bag if costs run higher than what Paul will pay, have been waiting for a concrete demonstration from Paul that he has the money and plans to hand it over to the state party.
Steve Robertson, chairman of the Kentucky GOP, said this week that the proposed caucus rules, which a special committee finalized in recent weeks, are solid. But if the question of cost remains next Saturday, he doesn't "know how to predict it."
"If the conversation on Aug. 22 is focused on the plan itself and how the caucus would work I think we'll have a productive day," Robertson said. "If the conversation centers on the party being able to afford this and adequate resources being on hand to assure that, then I really don't know how to predict what will happen."
The question being asked most these days is why Paul has not already transferred about $500,000 to the state party to put those questions to rest.
The simple answer is that Paul's team thinks the caucuses can be held for a much smaller price tag. For example, volunteers could be recruited to man the caucus locations. But members of the committee who developed the plan think money is needed to pay officials if those volunteers don't materialize.
In addition, a comment by Doug Stafford, Paul's top aide, to The Courier-Journal this week that the money "is in the bank" only seems to have made matters worse for Paul. Some committee members immediately wanted to know which bank and how much money.
Paul's team is not ready to answer those questions yet, but it appears likely that the dollar figure will be less than committee members have requested.
Beginning early next week, in a letter and during a conference call, Paul is expected to present a proposal to pay for the caucus to committee members. He is expected to propose providing a lump-sum payment and a "full finance plan" to cover any remaining costs.
Jim Milliman, Paul's state director, told the Herald-Leader that Paul "pledged to make sure the party wouldn't pay a cent for this caucus, and he stands by that pledge."
"He will show the committee a full finance plan, including putting up significant funding up front, next week," Milliman said. "We're confident that the committee will find Sen. Paul's proposal more than satisfactory."
Though details are still being kept secret, a number of committee members think Paul will argue that the $15,000 filing fee required of presidential candidates who want to participate in the caucus will more than make up for any discrepancy between what Paul is offering up front and what committee members want to see.
But Scott Lasley, chairman of the Warren County Republican Party and the man who led the special committee that met over the summer to prepare the caucus proposal, said some committee members are already "nervous" about the cost.
If Paul proposes a funding plan with an unknown window of time for concrete payments, Lasley said those members are likely to grow "more nervous."
"If for some reason the money's not there, then I do think all bets are off," Lasley said.
Paul will personally make the appeal for support when the party's state central committee meets in Frankfort, and the people around him are trying to assure committee members that no question will go unanswered before Saturday's meeting starts.
Ultimately, Paul's supporters are confident that members of the committee want to do what they can to help their state's junior U.S. senator pursue a presidential bid.
Even the handful of committee members who hold grudges from Paul's 2010 primary race against Trey Grayson said they are not letting hard feelings affect their consideration of the plan.
But beyond Paul's most ardent supporters, there is a genuine worry that an underfunded caucus would leave county parties and the state in a financial lurch at a time when they need to help Paul win re-election to the Senate and try to retake the state House of Representatives for the first time in almost a century.
To that end, there is a real risk that the committee could reject the plan. If they do, Paul would likely be forced to run for re-election in Kentucky and run for president in the other 49 states, assuming his embattled campaign can go that distance.
To win approval for a caucus, Paul will need two-thirds of the full committee to support it. But at any point during next Saturday's meeting, any member can object to what they're hearing. If that happens, it only takes one-third of the central committee to vote to table the proposal, and there are no other meetings scheduled this year.
With his presidential campaign already on the ropes, a committee rebuke of Paul's call for trust could be the final straw.