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Democrats Use "Head Stomping" in Ad Blasting Rand Paul

Protester from Moveon.org is thrown to the ground by Rand Paul supporters outside a Kentucky Senate campaign debate, Oct. 25, 2010.
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With their Senate candidate Jack Conway falling behind in the polls, the Kentucky Democratic party is attempting to use the recent "head stomping" incident at a Kentucky Senate debate to portray Republican candidate Rand Paul in a negative light.

The Democrats' new ad uses footage from the Monday event in which Lauren Valle, a 23-year-old liberal activist, was wrestled to the ground and stepped on by Rand Paul supporters. The approximately 60-second spot splices the violent footage with policies Democrats have dubbed "The Rand Paul Stomp" -- such as "End student loans" and "End mine safety laws."

The spot ends with the written phrase, "Rand Paul. Stomping on you. Stomping on Kentucky."

The ad is currently only on the web, but the party is moving to air it on television, according to Politico. Matt Erwin, communications director for the state Democratic Party, reportedly said it would start airing Friday and would only air on broadcast television after 10 p.m. because of its graphic nature.

The man who stepped on Valle's head, Tim Profitt, was a volunteer for the Paul campaign, but the Republican candidate cut ties with Profitt after the incident. Both Paul and Conway condemned the violence, though the Conway campaign criticized Paul for not sufficiently addressing the issue.

The "Rand Paul Stomp" ad follows an earlier negative ad from Conway that some speculate may have backfired. Earlier in the month, when Conway trailed Paul by just a few points in the polls, the Democrat released an ad that called into question Paul's Christian faith -- a move some on both the left and the right said crossed the line.

Since then, Paul has slightly widened his lead over Conway. Recent polls from Time Magazine/ CNN and Fox News/ Public Opinion Research show Paul leading by seven points. A recent survey from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm that does automated calls, showed Paul leading by a 13-point margin.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Campaign 2010

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.