Morgantown, West Virginia (CNN ) – Both the national Republican party and GOP Senate candidate John Raese have launched new ads pounding Democrat Joe Manchin with what Republicans hope is their winning argument: he will be a rubber stamp for President Obama.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee's ad features three white men sitting in a diner, talking about how "Obama's messing things up. Spending money we don't have. Stimulus. Obamacare."
Then one of the men says "Joe's not bad as Governor, but when he's with Obama, he turns into 'Washington Joe.' And Washington Joe does whatever Obama wants."
They then say the only way to "stop Obama" is by keeping in West Virginia away from Washington.
It is this kind of concern about Democrats in Washington that has made the race here surprisingly tight. Republicans are using this ad to seize on the dynamic CNN found talking to voters in this state: Although Manchin is quite popular,
President Obama is not, and many voters are wary of sending a Democrat to the Senate.
Raese's new television ad focuses on the issue of cap and trade, an unpopular policy in this coal producing state.
The ad accuses Manchin, a "rubber stamp" for Obama, of supporting a carbon tax.
In an interview Sunday with CNN, Manchin insisted he does not support cap and trade legislation that moved through Congress, and said his own version of the legislation passed in West Virginia did not do anything to hurt the coal industry.
In fact, the coal association has endorsed Manchin's candidacy.