Washington (CNN) – With five days left until a gubernatorial election in West Virginia, there's no let up in the campaign ad wars.
The Republican Governors Association is up with a new commercial that targets Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who faces off on October 4 against businessman Bill Maloney, the Republican nominee.
The RGA's new ad, which they say will run statewide through Tuesday's election, tries to tie Tomblin to President Barack Obama, with the narrator saying that "a majority of America's governors are fighting in court to stop Obamacare. But Earl Ray Tomblin is implementing Obamacare in West Virginia. Obamacare will jack up taxes on businesses. Destroy jobs. Stop Obama. Stop Tomblin from implementing Obamacare."
In the final television commercial of his campaign, Tomblin Wednesday went up on West Virginia airwaves Wednesday with an ad that highlights the support he's getting from Sen. Joe Manchin, a fellow Democrat, former governor, and one of the most popular politicians in the state.
"Working together, we put our state's financial house in order," says Manchin in the ad, as he stands next to Tomblin.
The ad continues with Tomblin saying that since he took over as governor, after Manchin was elected to the U.S. Senate last year to fill the term of the late Sen. Robert Byrd, he's continued to cut taxes and balance the budget. The commercial concludes with Manchin saying that "Earl Ray is the right man to keep West Virginia on the right course for a better future."
Besides Maloney and Tomblin, the former state Senate president, three independent or third party candidates are also on the ballot. The winner will fill out the final year of Manchin's gubernatorial term.
Tomblin has won the major union endorsements, but just as important is the backing he's received from the state Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association, two groups that normally support GOP candidates.
Even though Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans in the state when it comes to voter identification, the race appears to getting interesting as the campaign comes to a close.
In the past two weeks, the ad wars in the contest have heated up, with commercials from the Democratic Governors Association characterizing Maloney as an out of touch businessman in one spot, and a greedy businessman in another ad. The Republican Governors Association has fired back with ads describing Tomblin as a career politician and suggesting that he's used his years in the state legislature to benefit his family's greyhound breeding business.
Because of heating up of the ad wars, and because of the Democrats' loss earlier this month in a special congressional election in a district long dominated by the party, the contest in West Virginia is now firmly in the national political spotlight.
"With less than a week left before the election, it seems Republicans are going all out in trying to tie Tomblin to President Obama. They believe this race isn't settled yet. They sense an opportunity," says Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.
But if Tomblin wins, Gonzales says Democrats shouldn't see it as a great victory for the party.
"National Democrats shouldn't take much comfort in a Tomblin victory. Tomblin pulled together a coalition of the Chamber of Commerce, unions, and the NRA in order to survive. There aren't many other Democrats that will be able to do that in 2012," adds Gonzales.