Super-PAC defends Rahall on coal

House Majority PAC is going on air to defend Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) with a new ad that features a retired coal miner defending his record on coal.

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The ad comes just days after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added him to its list of most vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

And it comes as a new Republican survey, conducted by the Tarrance Group for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the campaign of Rahall's likely GOP opponent, state Sen. Evan Jenkins, that shows Rahall down by 14 points in a matchup with Jenkins.

In the telephone poll, obtained by The Washington Post, Rahall takes 40 percent support to Jenkins’s 54 percent support.

In the ad, a man identified as retired coal miner Rick Ryan slams the “New York billionaires” paying for attack ads against Rahall.

He’s faced a series of attacks from multiple groups focused on ObamaCare and coal, which is central to West Virginia’s economy.

“Nick Rahall isn’t against coal. He saved my job and 500 others when he stopped Washington from closing the Hobet Mine,” he says.

“Those billionaires want you to vote for Evan Jenkins, a man the Gazette called a ‘shill’ for insurance companies,” Ryan adds, a reference to Rahall’s expected Republican opponent.

The ad will run for a week in both the Charleston-Huntington and Bluefield-Beckley markets on a $65,000 buy.

The survey was conducted among 405 likely voters, 30 percent reached by cell phone, from March 3-5, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

—This piece was updated at 2 p.m. to reflect details on the GOP poll.

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