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Republicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat

Republicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat
© Greg Nash

The National Republican Congressional Committee has canceled planned advertising buys in Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress GOP lawmaker defends Mia Love from Trump attacks: 'I was disgusted when I heard it' Record number of female veterans to serve in next Congress MORE's (R-Colo.) district, a sign the GOP no longer thinks he can win his bid for re-election.

The NRCC is canceling $1 million in buys in Coffman's district, in the Denver suburbs.

It will spend that money and more in Florida's 27th district, where Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenDem wins leave behind a more conservative GOP conference How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms Five takeaways from a divisive midterm election MORE (R) is retiring this year, according to a party source with knowledge of their advertising plans.

The party will spend $2 million in late advertising in Miami, where a first-time candidate is running a stronger-than-expected bid to keep an open seat that gave Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 MORE a majority of its votes.

The district favored Clinton over President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE by a nearly 20-point margin in 2016. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhat midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 To save arms control, House Dems should act like a GOP senator Barack Obama promotes Michelle's memoir: It 'tells her quintessentially American story' MORE also won the seat twice.

But this year, former television anchor and reporter Maria Elvira Salazar (R) is running neck and neck with the Democratic nominee, former Health and Human Services Secretary and University of Miami President Donna Shalala (D).

Shalala has been the target of Democratic ire for running what observers call a lackluster race. A Mason-Dixon survey conducted earlier this month found Salazar leading Shalala by a 44 percent to 42 percent margin. Last month, Shalala's and Salazar's campaigns each released internal polls that showed their candidates leading.

Coffman is in a much tougher position. Though he has survived difficult fights before, the five-term Republican who represents suburban Denver has trailed his Democratic challenger, attorney Jason Crow, for months.

Two Siena College polls conducted for the New York Times show Crow ahead by an amount larger than the margin of error. The most recent, conducted this week, found Crow ahead 47 percent to 38 percent.

The NRCC had already spent $1 million propping up Coffman in the last month, before they decided to pull the plug Friday.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the largest super PAC that supports House Republican candidates, pulled out of Coffman's district last month.