Updated 5:48 p.m. | State Sen. Evan Jenkins, a Republican challenging Rep. Nick J. Rahall II in West Virginia, is up with his first ad — an attack on Democrats’ attack on Jenkins.
Dizzy yet? Just wait.
The Jenkins spot seeks to tie Rahall to a flare up between the Jenkins campaign and House Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to electing Democrats to the House.
“Nick Rahall, a lying politician, just like Obama,” the male narrator says.
Several weeks ago, HMP and the Jenkins campaign publicly squabbled over the accuracy of the super PAC’s ad that slammed Jenkins on black lung benefits for miners and survivors.
The new Jenkins ad quotes Factcheck.org, calling the HMP spot “bogus” and directly faulting Rahall for the content of the ad. However, HMP and the Rahall campaign are legally prohibited from coordinating with each other to air the ad.
The Jenkins campaign has put five figures behind the spot to air it on broadcast and cable networks, according to a campaign source.
But Rahall is also on defense with his own ad. The narrator, United Mine Workers Association President Cecil Roberts, accuses “billionaires” of “telling lies” about Rahall.
The Rahall campaign did not immediately respond to a request for information on the size of the ad buy behind this spot. But a source tracking the West Virginia airwaves estimates Rahall spent $58,000 on airing it.
The Mountain State media market is inexpensive, so both ads stand to get good play with viewers.
Rahall faces veteran Richard Ojeda on the May 13 primary. Ojeda raised a slim amount in the first quarter — about $16,000 — according to his fundraising report filed online.
The race is rated Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Updated 5:48 p.m. | A Democratic media buying source tells CQ Roll Call that the estimated ad buy for Jenkins’ ad is $12,000 – a low five-figure sum.