Trying to distance herself from President Barack Obama and court gun-toting voters in her flagging struggle to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has again stepped up to the firing line.
In a new campaign advertisement
, the Kentucky secretary of state wears a shooting jacket and protective gear and taunts McConnell while blasting skeet out of the air with a shotgun.
"Mitch McConnell wants you to think I'm Barack Obama," Grimes says between shots.
"Mitch is the same guy who thought Duke basketball players were UK (University of Kentucky) or who's attacking me on coal after doing next to nothing while we've lost thousands of coal jobs. He even said it's not his job to bring jobs to Kentucky.
"I'm not Barack Obama. I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA."
She adds facetiously as a photo of O'Connell appears, waving a Kentucky long rifle over his head at a conservative political rally, "Mitch, that's not how you hold a gun."
Nationally, Democrats like Grimes are scrambling to paint themselves as non-Obama candidates, since the president's low approval ratings are seen to be dragging them down, and more of them are turning to the conservative symbolism of the gun.
An earlier Grimes political ad
showed her aiming a scope-sighted rifle and proclaiming, "I welcome Sen. McConnell to come shoot with me at the range any day."
Real Clear Politics
notes that Grimes' chances may be running out. After finding McConnell leading her by 47 percent to 42 percent in its roundup of polls, the website says,
"As this race engages, Grimes' numbers seem to be falling back to earth. There is still plenty of time for her to turn things around, but the danger for her is that national Democrats could decide to abandon her campaign if she drops too far behind."
Grimes isn't the only troubled Democrat to lock and load. Five-term Rep. John Barrow
, of Georgia, reaches for both his guns and his family history in a folksy new ad designed to boost his image against that of his challenger, Republican Rick Allen, who's giving him a tough fight.
Brandishing an old pistol and rifle, Barrow says, "Long before I was born, my grandfather used this little Smith and Wesson here to help stop a lynching, and for as long as I can remember, my father always had this rifle real handy, just to keep us safe.
"That's why I support the Second Amendment and that's why I'm proud to be endorsed by the NRA – I approved this message because these are my guns now, and there ain't nobody gonna take 'em away."
The Augusta Chronicle
notes that polls give Allen a 59 percent chance of beating Barrow.
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