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So I'm happy to hear people already talk about the 2014 mid terms.  I'm looking forward to it because I'll have more diaries for all of you and I enjoy writing these diaries.  I will have a diary about my top targets and candidates for 2014 soon but lets talk about Kentucky and the big rumor going around right now.  Already there's speculation that beautiful actress, activist and Kentucky native Ashley Judd might be gearing up for a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R) seat:


Ashley Judd a senator? Although the actress hasn't made any definitive statements to confirm that she will be running against Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014, people are talking about a Judd-McConnell race as if it will be the race of the century, and no one seems to know how the rumor started. - The Examiner, 11/11/12
Judd is a Kentucky native who lives in Tennessee.  I don't know if this is noise from a bored media or if Judd is serious but the rumor has caught Senator McConnell's team's attention:

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The rumor, or whatever it is, about Ashley Judd's possible senatorial aspirations even caught the attention of Jesse Benton, the senator's campaign manager, who told Us Weekly, "Senator [Mitch] McConnell and his wife are big fans of Ashley Judd's movies and appreciate her energy, particularly when it comes to getting young people engaged in the political process." - The Examiner, 11/11/12
John Yarmuth, who is now Kentucky's sole Democratic congressman loves the idea of Judd running against Kentucky's most powerful Republican politician:

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"If you had an Ashley Judd-McConnell race, I think it would be as high profile as a race as Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown," said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth from Kentucky. "The money would pour in here as soon as she entered the race." - Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/8/12
Now here's Judd's response to the rumor:

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“I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward.” - The Daily Beast, 11/10/12
I am not sure how to feel about having Judd as a candidate.  I, like many Democrats and Kos community members, am very serious about defeating McConnell in 2014 and we have a long bench of great candidates to run including Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson and State Auditor Adam Edelen, just to name a few.  My personal choice is Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes who isn't ruling out a run against McConnell:

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There has been a lot of encouragement, not only here in the Commonwealth but nationally. With the vice presidential debate coming here to Kentucky, there were a lot of eyes on what is happening here in this state and I’m very humbled and honored by those who have given me some excitement and energy and encouragement to pursue that. But right now, you know, I am 10 months on the job, just elected in November, led my party’s ticket, excited about that and currently our only female constitutional officer here in the Commonwealth, the youngest female secretary of state nationwide.

My responsibilities and my focus is putting my energy towards what I was elected to do, and that’s to be the best secretary of state this Commonwealth has had – to follow in the footsteps of people that I think have done some great work, who might not be of my same party, people like Trey Grayson, people like Bob Babbage and John Y. Brown. That’s where my energy and focus is right now. - cn|2, 10/22/12

Defeating McConnell won't be easy and unfortunately, McConnell doesn't have to worry about a Tea Party challenger:

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David Adams, an influential Kentucky tea party organizer who was the campaign manager for Sen. Rand Paul (R)’s primary campaign, said “there’s no one even talking about” running against McConnell. “It’s a list right now that is zero,” he said, noting that in the tea party movement in Kentucky, “an excess of anger has led to a resurgence of apathy” as people are feeling that little can be done about the growing debt and deficit. - Roll Call, 4/30/12
Not to mention McConnell has $5.1 million on hand.  But even McConnell knows that the Democrats have a deep bench in terms of candidates:
The Democratic bench to take on McConnell is deeper than the tea party’s, but no one is making much noise about the race.

“I’m not sure anybody is going to run,” one Kentucky Democratic operative bemoaned, with only a touch of hyperbole. The source noted Democrats’ resounding successes on the local and state levels and routine defeats in federal elections.

Crit Luallen, state Sen. Dennis Parrett, state Auditor Adam Edelen and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes are mentioned as potential contenders. Parrett is a conservative, anti-abortion-rights, pro-gun-rights farmer and businessman who knocked off a 15-year GOP incumbent in 2010. Edelen, 37, has the look of a rising political star, and Grimes, 33, is politically well-connected.

Edelen and Grimes both have the advantage of not being up for re-election until 2015. And both, Democrats note, would allow for a strong contrast between a fresh new voice for Kentucky and McConnell, who will be 72 in November 2014. - Roll Call, 4/30/12

Plus Kentucky Democrats have a strong message to run on against McConnell:
Crit Luallen, a former Kentucky state auditor and something of a senior stateswoman in Kentucky Democratic politics, explained that the campaign narrative against McConnell won’t be difficult.

“He’s lost touch with the people of Kentucky,” she said. “His real focus is on his national leadership role.” She said the Bluegrass State needs a Senator “not so caught up in the partisan rancor in Washington.” - Roll Call, 4/30/12

It's still too early to tell but whether it's Grimes or Judd, we will have a long battle ahead of us.  But it's an important battle.  McConnell is the face of GOP obstruction in the U.S. Senate:

Plus according to a poll conducted by the Louisville Courier-Journal back in September, McConnell has a 51% approval rating:


The poll of 606 likely voters was conducted Sept. 11-13 by SurveyUSA. Seventy-six percent of respondents answered a recorded questionnaire on their home phones, while 24 percent, who were pre-screened on cellphones, replied to written surveys sent to them on the Internet.

The poll numbers for McConnell and Paul indicate no potential re-election problems, said Jennifer Duffy, a Senate analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

“Any member who can get over 50 percent now is doing great,” she said. “Remember, Congress has a job approval rating of 12 (percent). … This is not a beloved group of people.” - Louisville Courier-Journal, 9/16/12

Of course the right will use the "out-of-touch-Hollywood-liberal" rhetoric to discourage Judd's run.  We successfully helped Al Franken win his Senate race in 2008 but Minnesota is a very different state than Kentucky.  Then again, PPP did show that the Democrats best choice for U.S. Senate in Texas was Tommy Lee Jones:


But then again, Judd coming back to Kentucky to run for Senate could backfire just like it did for Bob Kerrey (D) in his return to Nebraska to retrieve his old seat.  I still plan on making McConnell one of my top targets in 2014 along with Governor Tom Corbett (R) in Pennsylvania and Governor Rick Scott (R) in Florida.  Judd is a very smart and passionate activist and knows how to work a crowd and I am all for sending more strong, smart women to the U.S. Senate but the question is who would be better candidate, Judd or Grimes?  Cast your vote below.  


Who do you think is the Democrats best candidate to run against Mitch McConnell in 2014?

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| 117 votes | Vote | Results

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