Ashley Judd 9 Points Behind Mitch McConnell: Poll

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would lead actress Ashley Judd by 9 points in a 2014 Senate matchup, a poll released Wednesday found.

McConnell took 49 percent to Judd's 40 percent, according to results released Wednesday by the GOP firm Harper Polling and RunSwitch Public Relations, which was co-founded by a former McConnell aide.

While Judd hasn't announced any decision as to whether she'll run, the possibility has raised considerable interest and apparent consternation among some Republicans. Two earlier surveys, one taken internally by the McConnell campaign, both showed the senator leading Judd by 4 points.

Karl Rove's American Crossroads has since targeted Judd with a $10,000 online ad buy playing up her support for Obama and her residency in Tennessee. Harper tested both messages in its poll to see how voters were responding.

The survey also found that both Judd and McConnell had near universal name-recognition. McConnell's favorable ratings are just about even, with slightly more voters viewing him unfavorably, while voters were 10 points more likely to view Judd unfavorably than favorably. Sixty percent of Republicans surveyed said they thought McConnell should be reelected -- a number considerably more solid than the third of GOP voters who said in a January survey that they would prefer him against any challenger.

The Harper/RunSwitch poll surveyed 850 likely Kentucky voters between Feb. 11 and 12, using automated phone calls.

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