Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes goes skeet shooting to show her independence from President Obama in her newest ad.

Meanwhile, a Kentucky super PAC is going up with three radio ads, obtained first by The Hill, running in rural Kentucky hitting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: 'It never occurred to me' convincing Americans to get vaccinated would be difficult The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) on trade pacts, high gas prices and his opposition to military funding.


The Grimes ad features the candidate standing in a field, wearing protective gear and a shooting vest, aiming at clay pigeons while she outlines a series of hits on McConnell.

“Mitch McConnell wants you to think I’m Barack Obama. Mitch is the same guy who thought Duke basketball players were U.K. Or who's attacking me on coal after doing next to nothing, while we’ve lost thousands of coal jobs. He even said it’s not his job to bring jobs to Kentucky,” she says in the ad.

“I’m not Barack Obama. I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA. And Mitch — that’s not how you hold a gun,” Grimes closes, over a shot of McConnell awkwardly brandishing a gun at a conservative conference earlier this year.

That photo op came during this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, and his moment on stage holding a gun then drew ridicule from his opponents.

But Grimes drew flak for her own use of a gun in the campaign, after her campaign released a photo of her shooting a shotgun without wearing proper protective gear. McConnell's campaign said the new ad won't "fool" Kentuckians, noting she's gotten fundraising support from pro-gun-control figures like Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

“An inexperienced Obama liberal with a gun is no less dangerous ‎for Kentucky families than one without. Much of Alison Lundergan Grimes's financial support comes from those seeking to implement gun control and wage the war on coal, but cynically, she believes a recycled TV ad idea will fool Kentuckians,” said McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore.

This time, however, she’s decked out in goggles and earplugs as she aims at the clay pigeons.

The ad is backed by a significant six-figure statewide buy, the campaign says, and it comes as Grimes has lost ground against McConnell in a series of consecutive polls out over the past month. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, he now leads her by about 5 points. Though McConnell remains one of the nation's most unpopular incumbent senators, Obama is still more unpopular in Kentucky, and the president's numbers are dragging Grimes down — hence the focus on distancing herself from Obama.

Grimes released an internal survey last week showing her leading McConnell by a point in order to push back against the public polls that showed the race to be a statistical tie. And the campaign believes the new ad provides a strong contrast with the incumbent, as they head into the final 50 days of the campaign.

Outside groups could still shift the terrain of the race. The first new ad, from Bluegrass Rural PAC, targets McConnell for voting for the North American Free Trade Agreement, “most favored nation status” for China and for a trade agreement with Korea, which the ad all says cost Kentucky thousands of jobs that went overseas.

“And McConnell rubbed salt in workers’ wounds, when he voted to cut and eliminate trade adjustment assistance, so those whose jobs went overseas can’t get re-employment help. On Nov. 4, it’s time for Mitch McConnell to lose his job,” a woman says in the ad.

The ad on gas prices notes that the price of gas has tripled since McConnell came to the Senate and charges McConnell has “been on the side of Big Oil by casting his votes on bills that have allowed Wall Street to artificially drive up the price of gas and oil,” which the ad says has resulted in contributions to his campaign from the oil industry.

“Big oil has been good to Mitch, and he has helped them reap huge profits at our expense. So the next time you fill up, remind yourself to Ditch Mitch on Nov. 4,” the ad concludes.

The final ad opens with a jarring clip of a suicide bomber chanting “Allahu Akbar” as an explosion is heard. It goes on to declare that improvised explosive devices are “the most deadly threat” to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and says McConnell voted against funding for up-armored Humvees that would help protect soldiers against IEDs.

“Sen. McConnell turned his back on our men and women in uniform,” the ad closes.

The group, Bluegrass Rural, is advised by Matt Barron, who writes columns for The Hill.

Barron, in a release, said McConnell “failed to put the money where his mouth was” in supporting the troops, “and it has cost the lives of 13 Kentucky soldiers and more than 3,200 other servicemembers.”

— This post was updated at 2:30 to reflect comment from McConnell's campaign.