Local observers say that former president Bill Clinton has no hesitation in invoking McConnell by name — but Hillary Clinton seems to avoid it.

It’s likely, at least in part, senatorial courtesy — but also it could help smooth relations between the two should Hillary Clinton run for, and win, the presidency in 2016. Polls show McConnell with a small-but-steady lead, and Republicans are very close to securing the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority in Tuesday’s elections.

That would make McConnell the majority leader, a post he might still hold if and when Clinton is sworn in as president in January 2017. The Republicans will face a difficult electoral map for the Senate in 2016, so GOP strategists are hoping for a big sweep that will provide a cushion for seats they could lose two years from now and maintain the majority.

For his part, McConnell denies that he holds any grudge against the Clintons for their overt stumping for Grimes.