House GOP group cuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop

House GOP group cuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop
© Greg Nash
The largest Republican super PAC defending the party's majority in the House has canceled advertising buys in two suburban districts, a signal that senior Republicans do not believe the longtime incumbents can win this November.
 
The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a group closely aligned with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBooker prepping for first 2020 debate with bicep curls Democratic debates: What the top candidates need to do Paul Ryan praises Trump: 'He's not taking any crap' MORE (R-Wis.), canceled a collective $3.1 million in advertising time it had reserved in suburban Denver and suburban Detroit, according to a source familiar with the group's advertising plans.
 
The ad time was meant to defend Reps. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanKoch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform Denver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' MORE (R-Colo.) and Mike Bishop (R-Mich.). Internal and public polls show both longtime Republicans trailing in their reelection bids weeks out from the midterms.
 
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Coffman has long been a target of Colorado Democrats, who have sent some of their best-known and best-funded state legislative leaders to stand and fall against him. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Ocasio-Cortez on Biden: 'I think that he's not a pragmatic choice' MORE won Coffman's district by a 9-point margin in 2016.
 
This year, he faces a first-time candidate, attorney Jason Crow. A Siena College poll conducted for The New York Times showed Crow leading 51 percent to 40 percent.
 
The CLF, which has spent more on behalf of Republican candidates than any other group or party organization, had already spent $1.5 million to boost Coffman, a four-term congressman.
 
Bishop is a newer target for Democrats. He represents parts of Oakland County, Mich., the traditional home of the Reagan Republican, in a district that voted for President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE by a 7-point margin. He faces Elissa Slotkin, a former assistant secretary of Defense in the Obama administration.
 
The CLF had planned to spend heavily on Bishop's behalf beginning in mid-October.
 
Party committees and outside groups make advertising reservations early in each election cycle, in order to lock in low rates. Those groups do not have to actually pay for the reservations until just days before the ads air, giving groups leeway to cut ad buys in case their candidate falls flat late in the campaign, or pulls away on their own.
 
The parties avoid cutting reservations as often as possible. Doing so often signals a death knell for a candidate just weeks before Election Day.
 
This year, Republicans facing a difficult political landscape have already cut ad buys in nearly a dozen districts, including seats held by Reps. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) and Keith RothfusKeith James RothfusThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Trump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 Pennsylvania New Members 2019 MORE (R-Pa.) and retiring Reps. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Darrell Issa eyes return to Congress Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (R-Calif.), Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentCNN celebrates correspondents' weekend with New Orleans-themed brunch The Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown MORE (R-Pa.) and Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm MORE (R-N.J.).