NRCC to Target Wilson in New Ad

Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:41am

The National Republican Congressional Committee is set to begin running ads against Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) in Ohio’s 6th district this weekend, according to a GOP source with knowledge of the committee’s ad buys.

The moderate Wilson has not received much attention from national Republicans this cycle despite the fact that his conservative and rural eastern Ohio district narrowly voted for Republicans for president in 2004 and 2008. The move to target Wilson is a sign that Republicans are continuing to try to expand the playing field of competitive races with a little more than three weeks to go before the elections.

Wilson is facing businessman and Air Force veteran Bill Johnson (R), who has criticized the Congressman’s votes for the economic recovery law and the health care bill. Johnson has not been viewed as a top recruit by the national party this cycle, in part because his fundraising has never been overly impressive. But Wilson’s fundraising has been relatively weak for an incumbent.

Johnson’s campaign recently released several internal polls that showed him closing in on the second-term Congressman in the final weeks of the race.

An early September poll conducted by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies showed Wilson ahead 47 percent to 44 percent. Johnson’s campaign released another poll this week that showed him ahead 46 percent to 44 percent.