All of the things that once repelled many conservatives about Mr. McConnell have now become the foundations of his appeal. According to the Kentucky women, no longer is the 77-year-old lawmaker past his prime — he is “battle tested.” His likeness — white, wrinkled, expressionless with a dash of smirk — is not the aesthetic of a has-been; it is the portrait of “stability.” And three-plus decades in office? Don’t call him a career politician, just the ideal shepherd for the man who has never done this before.

“He knows that he’s not only representing the country as our Senate majority leader, but he is representing the president of the United States,” Ms. Stocks said. “And he is doing his best to make sure the president is taken care of the way that he should be.”…

Basha Roberts, 65, recalled an event in Kentucky after Mr. Trump was elected where she heard Mr. McConnell say, for the first time, “We’re working to make America great again.”

“I knew then that he had bought in,” she said, “and could see all that he could do working with President Trump.”