GOP giving Dem House candidates early taste of 2014 attacks

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Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

The National Republican Campaign Committee wants to give some of the Democrats' top candidate recruits an early taste of what they can expect in the 2014 elections. The NRCC Monday launched a series of online ads targeting three Democratic House candidates and one Democrat who has not even formally entered a race in an effort to discredit them before their campaigns get off the ground.

All four Democrats - Gwen Graham in Florida, Erin Bilbray-Kohn in Nevada, Andrew Romanoff in Colorado, and Kevin Strouse in Pennsylvania - are challenging some of the most vulnerable House Republican incumbents.

Graham, the daughter of former Florida Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham, has announced her candidacy in Florida's 2nd Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Steve Southerland. Romanoff, former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, is running against Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado's 6th district. Strouse, an Army veteran, is taking on Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's 8th district. And political consultant Bilbray-Kohn is considering a campaign against Rep. Joe Heck in Nevada's 3rd district.

"With Nancy Pelosi devoted to making herself Speaker of the House again, Republicans aren't going to waste any time introducing her recruits to voters and revealing them for who they really are - Pelosi's hand-picked candidates who will reliably stand behind her failed agenda," said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek.

The interactive ads will run on local websites and focus on tying the candidates and would-be candidate to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The NRCC declined to say how much money it was spending on the media campaign.

The style of the web ad looks almost like Facebook and says that "Nancy Pelosi 'likes' Andrew Romanoff." It then asks "do you?"

Click yes or no and it comes up with what looks like a Facebook profile page for one of the four Democratic targets.

For example, Romanoff's page lists his "likes" as "taxes, spending, Washington, running for office" referring to his lost bid for Senate in 2010. It also lists his status as 'Professional Politician."

The idea of the ads is meant to turn voters off the Democrats early, benefiting the Republican incumbent and possibly even scaring good candidates out of the race entirely.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Jesse Ferguson responded: "Republicans know they're on defense because these top-tier, problem-solving Democrats have stepped forward. Washington Republicans want to make this election about anything other than the toxic record and out-of-touch priorities of this Republican Congress, but they can't avoid defending their own failed record."

The NRCC has already run ads against Democratic incumbents, but these digital ads are the first media to target challengers. Democrats need to pick up 17 seats in the 2014 election to regain control of the House, and based on recent demographic and voting trends, these four Republican seats represent some prime targets. Heck's Nevada district and Coffman's Colorado district voted for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012. Southerland's Florida district and Fitzpatrick's Pennsylvania district voted for the president in 2008 but went for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.

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    Caroline Horn is CBS News' senior producer for politics.

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