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House GOP cancels ad buys for vulnerable Republican

House GOP cancels ad buys for vulnerable Republican
© Greg Nash

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has canceled more than $1 million in planned advertising aimed at helping Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderSmall-dollar donations explode in the Trump era Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Dems outraising Republicans in final stretch of midterms MORE (R-Kan.) in the coming weeks.

The decision to cut advertising, described to The Hill by a source familiar with the NRCC's strategic thinking, is a hint that Republicans are pessimistic about Yoder's chances of holding his Kansas City-area district.

Yoder has had significant help from outside groups already. The Congressional Leadership Fund, the largest super PAC backing Republican candidates, has spent about $1.8 million on television advertisements on his behalf. The group still has $750,000 booked in the Kansas City media market for the election's final four weeks.

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But the NRCC, which faces a huge battlefield in a political environment in which Democrats have an edge, will use its money elsewhere. The committee was slated to spend $1.2 million on ads beginning Oct. 9.

Yoder has represented the district since winning election in 2010, when he replaced Democrat Dennis Moore. Yoder has never faced a particularly stiff challenge from a Democrat, though he only took 51 percent of the vote in 2016.

This year, he faces Sharice Davids (D), an attorney and first-time candidate who worked as a White House fellow in the Obama administration. She would be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress if she wins.

Republicans have begun pulling advertising from several districts where they do not believe their candidates can win this year. Either the NRCC or the Congressional Leadership Fund have nixed planned advertisements in districts held by Reps. Keith Rothfus (Pa.), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Mike Bishop (Mich.) and a handful of others.

The parties and their supportive outside groups are ramping up spending as voters begin to make their decisions weeks ahead of the midterms. Last week, candidates, the two party committees and their biggest-spending outside allies dropped a whopping $63 million on television airtime in 51 districts across the country.