2014 Kentucky Senate race

Politics
12:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Poll: McConnell in Close Races With Potential Opponents

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A new poll shows Sen. Mitch McConnell with a precarious lead over potential Democratic challengers.

The survey from Public Policy Polling shows McConnell with a four point lead over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes—45 to 41—and a five point lead over former Congressman Ben Chandler.

Despite the leads, McConnell polls below the 50 percent mark in both races. And it shows he only has an 11 point lead over contractor Ed Marksberry, 46 to 35. 

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Politics
9:47 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Mother Jones Obtains Secret Tape of McConnell Campaign Strategy Session

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit File photo

A secret audio recording of Senator Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign reveals the Kentucky Republican's aides intended to target actress Ashley Judd's mental health and religious beliefs among other issues.

The news magazine Mother Jones obtained audio of a private meeting between McConnell and aides where much of the conversation focused on potential Democratic opponents.

In a 2011 memoir, "All That is Bitter and Sweet"  Judd recounted she had checked into rehab for depression as an adult and once considered suicide as a child.

The leaked tapes reveal Judd's bouts with depression were considered fair game by the McConnell campaign.

"This sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced," an unknown McConnell aide says on the recording. "I mean it’s been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she’s suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s."

Listen:

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Politics
5:02 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Noise and Notes: With Ashley Judd Out, Where Do Kentucky Democrats Go From Here?

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mitch McConnell and Ashley Judd

Now that Ashley Judd is out, Kentucky Democrats are scrambling for a legitimate contender to take on Republican Senator Mitch McConnell next year.

The speculation is on Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose every word is being examined.

But what if Grimes also forgoes a 2014 Senate bid?

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Politics
4:59 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Former Mitch McConnell Aide, Karl Rove Protégé Launches Kentucky Super PAC

A Kentucky-based Republican operative is launching a new super PAC that observers expect will help Senator Mitch McConnell in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

GOP strategist Scott Jennings is a former Karl Rove deputy who worked as a campaign aide for McConnell before running Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign in Ohio. He now serves as a chief adviser to Kentuckians For Strong Leadership, which is listed to make unlimited outside expenditures in federal races.

From Politico:

"Kentucky’s a battleground, in some ways, to keep conservative leadership in Washington," Jennings told POLITICO

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Politics
12:45 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Ashley Judd Adviser Says Kentucky Democrats Helped Push Her Out

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Former Kentucky treasurer Jonathan Miller is blaming fellow state Democrats for helping push actress Ashley Judd out of the upcoming U.S. Senate race.

Judd announced last week she is declining to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2014, citing a need to focus on family. The speculation on other reasons why Judd isn't making a bid are plentiful, but supporters are speaking up.

In an editorial, Miller says a "dizzying blur of false testimony" promoted by a handful of Democratic consultants and strategists in national stories was part of the reason Judd declined.

From The Daily Beast:

While many may legitimately believe that (Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan) Grimes is the better candidate, many of those who have been quoted impugning Judd, or have done so on background, also have personal motives: some stand to profit from a Grimes campaign, some may have been trying to redress perceived “disses” by the actress, and some may be aiming to keep Grimes out of the 2015 gubernatorial race, where she could undermine their preferred candidates.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Screaming and a Goat

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

Now that actress Ashley Judd is officially not running for U.S. Senate against Republican Mitch McConnell, critics have wasted no time to lampoon the next presumptive Democratic nominee—Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes is being encouraged to fill the apparent void in 2014, and supporters argue she has a number of assets: no record for McConnell to attack, the daughter of a former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman and a tight relationship with former President Bill Clinton.

It appears the best jabs circulating about Grimes for now are the secretary of state's speeches—where she often refers to herself in the third-person and shouts repteadly.

A new video featuring Grimes is making the rounds, and it pokes fun at her and other screamers, including former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a goat and Judd (in Normal Life).

Watch:

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Politics
11:20 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Democrats Run 'Sweet 16' Style Radio Ad Against Mitch McConnell

Credit DSCC.org

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching a basketball-themed radio ad targeting U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ahead of his beloved Louisville Cardinal's Sweet 16 game.

The spot begins airing Thursday and uses a faux play-by-play commentary describing how  McConnell  "scores for Washington special interests and himself" while blocking economic policies that would help Kentucky.

Listen:

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Mitch McConnell Campaign Radio Ad Features 'Fiery' CPAC Speech

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a new statewide radio ad this week featuring the GOP leader's fiery remarks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

During the speech, McConnell pledge to conservative activists the fight against the Affordable Care Act will will continue despite the Supreme Court upholding the legislation and President Obama's re-election last fall.

In the one-minute radio spot, McConnell assails the president's overall agenda while urging conservatives to remain true to their principles.

"If you believe in your heart that the direction Barack Obama wants to take this country is wrong, its time to stand up together and punch back," McConnell says in the ad.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Ashley Judd Says on Twitter That She's Not Running for U.S. Senate

Ashley Judd
Credit U.S. Navy

Actress Ashley Judd is not running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky next year

The actress writes via Twitter:

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Politics
5:00 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Advises Tea Party Critics to Lay Off Senator Mitch McConnell

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is advising Tea Party activists to think twice before waging a primary challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell next year.

The freshman lawmaker was heavily backed by the Tea Party in his race for the Fourth Congressional District seat last year. 

Massie is often mentioned as a potential 2014 Senate candidate, and has flexed a level of independence from the GOP establishment. He voted against Speaker John Boehner and recently opposed the Ryan budget plan because it wasn't conservative enough.

But Massie has repeatedly turned down offers to run and told reporters on multiple occasions he isn’t interested.

And in an interview with WFPL, he says Tea Party activists in Kentucky who want to continue to have an impact on national politics should reconsider their opposition to McConnell.

"My advice to people who are frustrated with Washington is that there’s probably a better way to spend your time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears than trying to have Senator McConnell unelected. I think there are a lot better chances and better use of your time in terms of changing Washington, D.C.," he says.

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