February 14, 2013
Actress Ashley Judd’s movement toward a Senate run against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell makes Democrats in Washington, D.C., happy.
But back in Kentucky, for many Bluegrass State Democrats, a potential Judd run brings a different feeling: heartburn.
“If she runs, I think that it would be a catastrophe for a lot of downballot races in Kentucky,” said Jimmy Cauley, a longtime Kentucky Democratic strategist who doesn’t believe Judd can win a general election. Among Democratic state legislators, he said, “there is significant worry about Ashley being on the ballot.”
Democrats plugged into the Frankfort, Ky., zeitgeist publicly and privately confirmed those sentiments. The crux of their worry is this: As a celebrity and strong supporter of President Barack Obama, Judd’s position at the top of the ticket could nationalize state and local races. They see her losing the Senate contest — an uphill climb for any Democrat — and potentially poisoning the conservative brand of some state Democrats.
I’ve got a document to drop on her if she runs.