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Ashley Judd hasn't even entered the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky yet but Karl Rove is so scared of her potential candidacy in the race against Senate Minority LEader Mithc McConnell (R. KY) that he's already attacking her:

Actress Ashley Judd cheers before an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game between Kentucky and Louisville Saturday, March 31, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Ashley Judd is getting her introduction to campaign-style politics in a new ad mocking her past comments about President Obama and the state she calls home.

The actress is considering a Senate bid next year in Kentucky against Republican leader Mitch McConnell. The ad is paid for by American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove that spent millions of dollars in the 2012 elections.

"Ashley Judd — An Obama-following radical, Hollywood liberal who is right at home here in Tennessee. I mean, Kentucky," says the ad announcer.    USA Today, 2/6/13

Here's the American Crossroads ad:

American Crossroads is spent $10,000 on on-line ads like this one to discourage Judd from running for Senate after both PPP and McConnell's internal polling showed trail trailing behind him by four points.  Rove has every right to be afraid of Judd because despite McConnell having a big war chest for re-election and yields the most power in Kentucky politics, both Democrats and the Tea Party are eager to get rid of Mitch in 2014:

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06:  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), listens to a question while addressing the media on the budget talks July 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. President Obama has invited Senate leaders to the White House on July 7, in hopes of making a final agreement on raising the national debt limit.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Big Democratic donors, local liberal activists and a left-leaning super PAC in Kentucky are telling tea partiers that they are poised to throw financial and organizational support behind a right-wing candidate should one try to defeat the powerful GOP leader in a 2014 primary fight.

The idea: Soften up McConnell and make him vulnerable in a general election in Kentucky, where Democrats still maintain a voter registration advantage. Or better yet, in their eyes: Watch Kentucky GOP primary voters nominate the 2014 version of Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock, weak candidates who may actually lose.

“We are doing a lot of reaching out to some of the tea party folks across the state,” said Keith Rouda, a field organizer with the liberal group MoveOn and the Democratic super PAC, Progress Kentucky. “What we’re finding — at least in this stage of the race — we’re finding that our interests align. It’s unusual.” - Politico, 1/28/13

Recent polling has also shown that Mitch has more opponents than supporters right now:
With his re-election bid just a year away, those opposed to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell outnumber his supporters 2-1 among Kentucky voters, according to the latest Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll.

In the poll of 609 registered voters, 34 percent said they plan to vote against McConnell — while just 17 percent say they will vote to give him six more years. Forty-four percent said they will wait to see who is running against him before deciding, and 6 percent said they are not sure.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. It comes as groups on both McConnell’s right and left seek candidates to challenge him in the primary and general elections in 2014. McConnell, the most powerful Republican in the Senate as minority leader, is seeking his sixth term. - Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/23/13

Right now Judd hasn't made her candidacy public yet and she's also in the middle of a divorce with her husband, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, and hasn't moved back to Kentucky yet so who knows if she'll even run.  But the fact that Rove has to put ads this early to help discourage Judd from running is a blatant sign that Mitch is in trouble and could lose his seat next year.  Plus having Judd in the Senate also makes the Keebler Elf nervous:

WASHINGTON - JULY 26:  U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a news conference July 26, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A number of Senate and House Republicans held the news conference to introduce the
"She's way damn too liberal for our country, for our state," Paul said. "She hates our biggest industry, which is coal. So, I say, good luck bringing the 'I hate coal' message to Kentucky." - NPR, 12/5/12
Kentucky Democrats are nervous about Judd's candidacy due to her vocal opposition to mountain top removal mining and her work on Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.  Congressman John Yarmuth (D. KY-3) has been working to build momentum for Judd's candidacy amongst organized labor groups and grassroots organizations.  The ball is in her court and Karl Rove just helped expose that Judd shouldn't be underestimated.  

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:00 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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