GOP cuts off another House incumbent in deep red state


Republicans are abandoning their own House members ahead of the midterms.

In the past few weeks, Republicans have cut off funding for several incumbent House members in tough races, effectively waving a white flag at the impending blue wave.

On Sunday, The Hill reported that the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) has canceled a nearly $1 million ad buy in support of Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), who won re-election in 2016 by double digits. Democratic challenger Sharice Davids currently leads Yoder in the polls, and the race is rated a "toss-up" by the Cook Political Report.

Meanwhile, Politico reported that the Congressional Leadership Fund, a GOP super PAC, has cut off support for two more incumbents, Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman. The PAC has canceled over $3 million in planned ad buys between the two.

Just days before that, the NRCC also canceled the remainder of its ads for Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA). Rothfus is running against Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb, who pulled off a stunning upset victory in a March special election. Because of redistricting, the two congressman are now running against each other in the new 17th Congressional District.

All four of the incumbents easily won re-election in 2016, some by double digits, but are now locked in close contests with Democratic opponents.

And there might be more bad news for embattled incumbents to come.

"There could be a bunch more," a former NRCC staffer told The Hill. "If you have a race that’s just not winnable and you have limited resources, you can’t spend just to make somebody feel better."

More broadly, the decisions to abandon these incumbents demonstrates the increasing desperation that Republicans feel about being wiped out in the midterms. Trump has been politically toxic for moderate Republicans, sticking them with unpopular policies like the GOP tax scam and ripping children away from parents at the border.

Democrats have flipped dozens of red seats to blue in special elections since Trump was inaugurated, and over-performing even in races that they've lost. One recent forecast shows Democrats picking up 60 House seats in November.

If that's the case, shifting funds away from a handful of races might not be enough for Republicans to save their majority.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.