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 CoffmanGardner gets first Dem challenger for 2020 Senate race The 5 most competitive Senate races of 2020 10 things we learned from the midterms 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-LehtinenYoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm Black Caucus sees power grow with new Democratic majority 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 ClintonIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report MORE a majority of its votes.

The district favored Clinton over President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE by a nearly 20-point margin in 2016. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump offers to limit his border wall to strategic locations Americans need an economy that supports more than the 1 percent Pompeo’s retreat into chaos 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.