Any bid by Ashley Judd to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky in 2014 could be tough for the actress, a new poll shows.
The Harper Polling survey released on Wednesday found McConnell leading Judd by nine percentage points among likely voters, reports Louisville’s WHAS11
The findings come after a number of less favorable polls for the Bluegrass State’s longest-serving senator
Of the 850 likely Kentucky voters polled, 49 percent said they would cast their ballot for McConnell, who would be seeking a sixth term, while 40 percent said they would support Judd.
“Clearly, Sen. McConnell is in a very strong position within his party and the commonwealth as a whole and he appreciates the support,” his campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement, adding “There is a long way to the election and Sen. McConnell is focused on reforming spending and getting the economy moving again.”
Among female voters, Judd is tied with McConnell in the poll, both with 44 percent, but he has an 18 percentage point lead, 54 percent to 36 percent, among men.
“As it stands right now you have two fairly well defined people in McConnell and Judd,” Scott Jennings of RunSwitchPR, which commissioned the poll, told WHAS. “And so it would take some news, or would take some paid advertising to change those images.”
Jennings is a former McConnell aide who managed Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign in Ohio.
As for talk of the tea party putting up a Republican challenger, the poll shows McConnell with strong GOP support. Three-fifths of the Republican primary voters said they would back McConnell, and 23 percent said they would choose someone else.
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