Fight for Rahall's House seat heats up

House Majority PAC is going up with its first defensive effort of the cycle for Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), a top Republican target in 2014.

The Democratic group is going to bat for the congressman as the National Republican Congressional Committee launches its own series of radio ads against three Democrats, including Rahall, focused on the healthcare law and Obama's promise that Americans could keep their insurance under ObamaCare.

The new ad, which touts Rahall's commitment to the state's coal industry using local news reports and endorsements, follows $600,000 in attacks the congressman has faced over the last month, according to a Democratic strategist following the race.

It's an early start to what's expected to be one of the nation's most contentious House races. Republicans are excited about their recruit, state Sen. Evan Jenkins, who switched parties to run in the race as a Republican.

The PAC's ad declares that "Washington special interests want you to believe Nick Rahall's against coal."

"It's not true," a narrator ads, citing local news reports and the endorsement of a local Chamber of Commerce.

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce pushed back on the ad, however, noting it cites a 2012 endorsement and that none of the chambers in Rahall's district have made an endorsement this cycle.

"The West Virginia Chamber calls on the pro-Pelosi House Majority PAC to take down this deceptive campaign ad.  Campaigns should be run on truth, not on portraying false support.  Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can come to West Virginia and campaign for her favorites, but she should not use misleading ads and trickery in support of her campaign to be put back as Speaker of the U.S. House," the Chamber wrote in a statement.

The NRCC had previously run television ads against Rahall focused on coal, one of West Virginia's main industries and a common point of attack for Republicans targeting Democrats in red states like West Virginia and Kentucky.

But on Tuesday, the committee focused in on ObamaCare, which has caused serious headaches for vulnerable Democrats, as issues with the law's rollout prompt negative headlines.

The NRCC's ad uses a clip of Rahall saying “Those who like what they have today … they’ll be able to keep."

“The same broken promise,” the voiceover says. “Now almost 9,000 West Virginians are losing health coverage … Obama and Rahall. They sound the same, because they are the same," the narrator adds.

Republicans believe that Obama's erroneous claim will continue to be a problem for Democrats, even as the kinks with the law get worked out.

Watch the ad:

--This piece was updated at 6:30 to reflect comment from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.