The Kentucky Senate race is essentially tied in the polling. A poll released today by a Republican pollster shows Alison Lundergan Grimes up by 3 points, within the margin of error.

Elizabeth Warren is about to inject herself into the race in a big way.

Warren’s student loan bill, which even an author at liberal Slate.com called “a glorified talking point,” failed to pass an early procedural vote on Wednesday.

In response, Warren declared war on Mitch McConnell, vowing to campaign and raise money for Grimes. The notion of taking political retribution is in keeping with Warren’s vow to have “plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor” of those who oppose her.

HuffPo reports, Elizabeth Warren To Hit Back At Mitch McConnell By Campaigning For Alison Lundergan Grimes:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) railed against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday for failing to support her student loan refinancing proposal, which the Senate killed in a 56-38 vote earlier in the day….

When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked Warren how she planned to fight back, the senator gave a response that could shake things up in Kentucky, where McConnell faces a tough race for reelection against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“One way I’m going to start fighting back is I’m going to go down to Kentucky and I’m going to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes,” Warren said. “She’s tough, she’s feisty, she endorsed the student loan bill, said she wanted to bring down interest rates for Kentuckians. … So my view is I’m going to get out there and try to make this happen for her.”

Seems to me that making Warren an issue in the race is risky for Grimes.

As HuffPo further reported, McConnell’s campaign previously has been trying to link Grimes to Warren to push the theme that Grimes is too liberal for Kentucky:

In a September fundraising email, McConnell told supporters that Grimes had hired “the top fundraiser from Elizabeth Warren’s record-setting campaign,” calling Warren “the most liberal, anti-business member of the Senate.” He warned that Grimes could have similar success.

In May, McConnell lamented Grimes’ front-and-center appearance on the website for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in another email to supporters, saying the committee holds events “with the likes” of Warren.

In response to Warren’s announcement, the Republican Party of Kentucky quickly issued a press release, Warren Joins Long List of Liberal Democrats Backing Grimes’ Campaign.

The McConnell campaign provided this statement:

“Elizabeth Warren is yet another anti-coal liberal senator sent by Harry Reid and Barack Obama to assist in their effort to continue enacting their anti-Kentucky agenda by getting Alison Lundergan Grimes elected. If there are any questions as to where Alison stands on the issues, look no further than the records of those in her inner circle.”

This may play well in Massachusetts, but how will it play in Kentucky?

And if Warren does inject herself into the race, will her highly, highly, highly, highly questionable claim to be Native American become an issue?

Will Team Mitch go there, or leave it to others to raise the issue?