Ashley Judd. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/Getty Images)
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What If Ashley Judd Had Run?

Ultimately, Ms. Grimes was the safe choice, and the Democrats got a safe outcome. They put a scare into the powerful Republican Senator, can claim to have run a good race, but did not win. Perhaps, however, this risk averse approach was the wrong one. Had Ms. Judd run, it is possible that she would have been attacked for being anti-coal or an out of touch Hollywood liberal and lost decisively. It is also possible, on the other hand, that Ms. Judd might have had a dynamism and a star power that could have moved Kentucky voters, and that she could have communicated a progressive message better than Ms. Grimes. The answer to this question will, of course, never be known. What is known is that the safe approach led to the the Republican Party holding the seat, and that an intriguing Democratic political career was put on hold, perhaps forever.

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