Top GOP Group Gives Up On Two More House Republicans, Cancels Campaign Ads

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16:  Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) appears on Urban View's Helping Our Heroes Special, moderated by SiriusXM host Jennifer Hammond at the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill on May 16, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Larry French/Getty Images North America

House Republicans’ top super PAC is walking away from two more House incumbents, in their latest moves to try to triage a brutal House map and save their foundering majority.

The Congressional Leadership Fund is canceling its TV advertising reservations for Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Mike Bishop (R-MI), a source familiar with the decision confirms to TPM.

Their decision to give up on Bishop is a major sign of alarm for the GOP — Trump carried the Detroit-area district by 8 points in 2016, and Mitt Romney won it as well. Bishop has been badly out-raised by his Democratic opponent Elissa Slotkin, however, and he trailed her outside the margin of error in one recent private poll.

Coffman isn’t as big of a surprise. He’s in a tough Democratic-leaning district outside Denver, public and private polls have shown him trailing by the high single digits in recent weeks, and Democrats’ main super PAC recently canceled their own reservations in the district, a sign they were sure they had the race in hand.

“CLF will continue to run strong field operations in these districts and will continue to conduct polling and evaluate races across the country as we do everything we can to protect the Republican Majority,” CLF spokeswoman Courtney Alexander said when asked about the cancelations.

Coffman and Bishop have also both been out-raised by their Democratic opponents in recent quarters. The CLF had previously warned that they weren’t going to help members that didn’t help themselves.

The move leaves five Republican incumbents that the main GOP outside groups have decided can’t be saved on election day. Reps. Rod Blum (R-IA) and Keith Rothfus (R-PA) have already had TV buys canceled by the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the CLF has refused to invest in Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

The CLF is shifting that money to triage other competitive districts they hope to save in the Los Angeles area, New Mexico and Wisconsin — a number of them seats they thought leaned toward the GOP just months ago.

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