“Some of this is self-evident,” the Kentucky Republican operative said. “If he thought he’d be the nominee, he wouldn’t spend time hedging his bets and raising money for the Senate race. I think that tells you everything you need to know.” 

Indeed, the Senate fundraisers come amid growing media speculation that Paul, who has so far failed to gain traction in the race for the White House, may be nearing the end of his presidential run.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Paul is in 10th place, taking only 2.4 percent support. He’s similarly buried in most polls of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first three states to cast ballots next year. 

CNBC, which is hosting the next Republican presidential debate in late October, has not yet announced the criteria to qualify. However, there is speculation that field could be trimmed down from the 11 who participated in the last GOP debate, potentially leaving Paul on the sidelines.