GOP launches first TV ad against Blue Dog Dem

Republicans have used their first TV ad of the 2012 cycle to target Utah Rep. Jim Matheson (D) for his 2009 vote for the stimulus bill.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is currently airing the 30-second TV spot in the Salt Lake City market. It's part of a coordinated effort to remind voters wary of high unemployment of the promises Democrats made regarding the $787 billion stimulus bill.

"Since Matheson helped pass the stimulus, Utah lost 38,000 more jobs," the announcer says in the 30-second ad. "Jim Matheson and President Obama: They take the cake." 

It's unclear how widely the ad is airing because the NRCC has yet to file an Independent Expenditure report with the Federal Election Commission.

Matheson is one of only a few Blue Dog Democrats who survived 2010. He bested former state lawmaker Morgan Philpot (R) by 5 points last cycle.

The NRCC's ad buy comes after it raised $3 million in January, and boasted having $3.2 million in the bank, albeit while carrying a debt of $10.5 million. The committee's haul, however, fell short of its Democratic counterpart. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported raising $4.4 million in January. Still, the DCCC remains nearly $20 million in debt. 


--Updated at 12:10 p.m.