Sorry, Ashley Judd–Bubba does not have your back.
While the actress is reportedly mulling a run for Senate against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, a number of Democrats–including Bill and Hillary Clinton–believe Judd may be too liberal to win the state.
According to Politico, the former president is encouraging Kentucky’s Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to run next year. He recently took her aside and reportedly argued that a Senate seat would be a bigger platform and more important job than running for the House or even governor.
Grimes is just 34 years old and is serving her first year as secretary of state. But McConnell looks beatable. According to a recent PPP poll, only 37% of the Bluegrass State’s voters have a favorable view of the senate minority leader. Meanwhile, 55% disapprove.
The right also seems to be concerned about Judd running. Last month Republican strategist Karl Rove’s super PAC “Crossroads” released an ad berating her for being a Hollywood liberal who has deep ties to President Obama. The ad stressed that she’s really from Tennessee—not Kentucky. (Last year, Judd was part of Tennessee’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention, although she grew up in Kentucky and went to college there.)
Judd has said she’s honored to be mentioned as a potential Democratic contender but has not decided if she’ll run. Grimes has acknowledged she’s being urged to run, but has not indicated if she’s seriously considering it.
The problem for Judd isn’t so much her Hollywood ties but the political culture of the state, Louisville Courier-Journal’s Jim Carroll told Hardball on Wednesday. “Kentucky is a really conservative state. It does elect statewide Democrats but the question is whether [her] obvious liberal views can be married to a state that is so culturally and politically conservative. That’s frankly what she’s weighing and a lot of Democrats certainly are saying more publicly and worrying more about.”
MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post noted, however, that liberal Democrats in Louisville are in favor of Judd, including Congressman John Yarmuth. He added there was a lot of money in Louisville that helped President Obama last year.
Host Chris Matthews asked Carroll to surmise who McConnell would want to win , in order to increase his chances of re-election.
“Ashley Judd: because she doesn’t have the ties to, the political ties, to Kentucky,” he said. “She has a lot of biographical ties to Kentucky…but she doesn’t have the on-the-ground knowledge, the statement that somebody like Alison [Lundergan Grimes] has.”