The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has officially begun trying to tie vulnerable incumbents to President Obama.
The committee is up with new health care ads targeting Reps. Zack Space (D-Ohio) and Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.). The ads feature a bubbling beaker and decry the "Obama/Pelosi health care experiment. They say their plan will result in "higher costs, tax hikes and ... massive cuts to Medicare."
It's not surprising that the GOP is going after the health care issue, which looks like it could be an electoral winner. What is new here is that the committee isn't just ascribing the plan to Pelosi - the usual target - but is also trying to use Obama as a wedge.
Obama lost Space's district by 8 percent but won Arcuri's by 2 percent. The NRCC is dipping its toe in the water on a new anti-Obama strategy and banking on the president's numbers continuing to slide.
With his approval sinking to around 50 percent, it will probably need to slide a bit further before such a strategy works. But if the history of first-term presidents is any guide, we could well be headed in that direction.
UPDATE: The NRCC also used Obama in an ad hitting Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) for voting for the energy bill two months ago, but the newest effort is the first since then.