In March, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul put his odds of winning the Republican presidential nomination at "one in five, one in six."
But on a Thursday night conference call with Republicans who will vote this Saturday on whether to have a presidential caucus next year, Paul adjusted those odds to "one in 10."
Paul, who told callers he was under the weather, called in with nearly 350 members of the Republican Party of Kentucky's state central committee in an effort to persuade them to go ahead with a proposal that would allow him an end-around a state law that prohibits a candidate from appearing on the same ballot twice.
The cost of switching to a caucus, which would allow Paul to run for president and the U.S. Senate at the same time, was a major topic as Republicans wanted to know why Paul had not transferred an initial payment of $250,000 to an RPK account as he said he had in a letter this week.
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Republicans wanted to know why Paul was waiting until the proposal passed at the state central committee meeting this Saturday, and Paul responded that there was no need to transfer the money unless Kentucky's Republicans don't trust their junior senator.
Trust emerged as a major theme from Paul, and it appears that will be the crux of his pitch when he tries to convince committee members in person at Saturday's central committee meeting in Frankfort.
Still, Paul was asked several times about the money and whose account it is currently in.
Paul also said he would be raising an additional $125,000 from some big donors within the next week.
The call, which was described to the Herald-Leader by participants, was at times a comedy of errors.
When one caller suggested that costs could be kept down if a caucus location's preference were recorded by a show of hands instead of paper ballot, Paul initially agreed that would save costs until other participants objected, noting a need for a secret ballot in a presidential race.
Paul also raised some eyebrows by suggesting that Republicans pass a bag during the caucuses to raise money to pay for the events.
The senator did not stay on the call the whole time, telling the participants about his recent trip to Haiti and answering a few questions, emphasizing that he thinks a caucus will be good for Kentucky and good for the Republican Party.
After a summer of struggles on the campaign trail, the stakes could not be higher for Paul this Saturday, as Republicans will gather at 10 a.m. to cast what is essentially a vote of confidence in Paul.
To that end, Paul is making a last-minute push to try to win support for the new way of awarding presidential delegates. His efforts include last week's letter, Thursday night's conference call and a call to supporters to rally in front of the hotel on Saturday morning.
An invitation went out to supporters Thursday asking them gather Saturday outside the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort an hour before the meeting.
"You can make your support for the caucus — and for Rand Paul — loud and clear by showing up in your Rand Paul gear," the invitation said.
Supporters were told that "posters, t-shirts, etc." will be given to early arrivals, and the invitation encouraged them to "please bring a carload of friends and family to show your support for Rand Paul."
Paul will also be making the rounds in Kentucky on Friday, attending events and joining GOP gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin at a news conference in Somerset on Friday afternoon.
When asked whether Paul was trying to rally supporters to pressure committee members, spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper demurred.
"Rand is going to be in Frankfort on Saturday on the second day of his swing through Kentucky after his medical mission," Cooper said. "While he is looking forward to meeting with the central committee, he is also looking forward to meeting with grassroots supporters before the meeting."