House Republicans add 5 members to incumbent protection program

House Republicans add 5 members to incumbent protection program
© Greg Nash

The House GOP campaign arm announced Friday that it is adding five Republicans to the ranks of its incumbent protection program for this year’s midterm elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) Patriot Program now has a total of 23 GOP lawmakers on its roster as it tries to defend the House GOP majority. The program offers fundraising and organizational assistance to its most vulnerable incumbents seeking reelection.

The latest five Republicans to make the list are among those in districts that have become more competitive as Democrats seek to expand their target map: Reps. Andy BarrGarland (Andy) Hale BarrMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on Trump tariffs Overnight Health Care: Trump officials want more time to reunite families | Washington braces for Supreme Court pick | Nebraska could be next state to vote on Medicaid expansion MORE (Ky.), Mike Bishop (Mich.), Mike BostMichael (Mike) J. BostMORE (Ill.), John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonDem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Cook Political Report got it wrong: Reps. Sessions and Culberson’s districts are not 'toss-ups' MORE (Texas) and Scott TaylorScott William TaylorLawmakers aim to use spending bill to block offshore drilling GOP lawmaker rejects racism charge: 'My son is named after a black guy' RNC mum on whether it will support Trump-backed Corey Stewart MORE (Va.).

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“Republicans have placed our nation on a prosperous trajectory—what we call The Great American Comeback. These Members were instrumental in making that happen, and will be instrumental in seeing it through well beyond the 2018 election,” Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversTop GOP campaign official rebuts Trump on Russia threat GOP campaign arm withdraws support from NJ House candidate who made racist statements Progressives’ wins highlight divide in Democratic Party MORE (R-Ohio), chairman of the NRCC, said in a statement.

Culberson has represented his Houston-area district since 2001, but has become a top Democratic target after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House protests extend into sixth day despite rain Clinton: US is 'losing friends and allies' under Trump Justice Dept releases surveillance applications for former Trump aide MORE narrowly carried it by just more than a point over President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE in 2016.

Taylor, meanwhile, represents a district that Trump won by 3 points but that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) carried by 4 points last year. Taylor is also only in his first term, compared to a longtime incumbent like Culberson.

Barr, Bost and Bishop represent districts that Trump won by more comfortable margins. Trump carried Barr and Bost’s districts by 15 points each, while he won Bishop’s by 7 points.

Still, all three are considered to be in competitive races for reelection.

Barr is expected to face the stiffest challenge from a Democratic candidate since he defeated former Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) in 2012. At least five Democrats are running to unseat Barr, including Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, retired Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath and state Sen. Reggie Thomas.

Trump handily carried Bost’s district, but Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthLawmakers press Trump admin for list of migrant kids separated from families The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Protests and anger: Washington in turmoil as elections near Ocasio-Cortez responds to Dem senator who said policies 'too far to the left' don't win in Midwest MORE (D-Ill.) also won it in 2016. Democrat Brendan Kelly, St. Clair County state’s attorney, outraised Bost in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently rate’s Bost’s race as a “toss up” along with Culberson’s district.

The Cook Political Report rates the odds slightly more in the GOP’s favor at “Lean Republican” for Barr, Taylor and Bishop.