Ashley Judd has moved one step closer to making a decision about whether to challenge Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014, meeting privately with officials at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington this week, according to Politico
Tuesday’s meeting was the actress’ first formal face to face with DSCC officials, said the news organization. The DSCC recruits, coordinates strategy, and raises money on behalf of candidates.
Judd, an eighth-generation Kentuckian and outspoken liberal activist, has acknowledged she is considering a run against the Senate minority leader, now serving his fifth term.
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McConnell and other Republicans apparently believe a Judd challenge is a serious possibility. Web videos and ads have already been launched attacking her.
On the same day, in fact, that Judd was consulting with the DSCC, McConnell’s campaign released a new ad questioning whether the movie star actually lives in Tennessee.
McConnell’s ad followed a similar one released earlier by Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC.
Democrats for their part appear to be divided over a Judd challenge. Some worry she won't be able to muster enough support as a liberal in a staunchly conservative state and wonder whether she can withstand the heat of the GOP’s potentially searing campaign tactics.
On the other hand, many believe her star power could appeal to voters in a state where Democrats still maintain a registration advantage and attract substantial financing.
If Judd did throw her hat into the ring she would become the first Hollywood celebrity to enter a Senate race since Democratic Sen. Al Franken made a successful 2008 run in Minnesota.
A new poll released last week shows that a Judd challenge could be tough on the actress. The Harper Polling survey gave McConnell a nine point lead over Judd among likely voters.
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