Comstock’s Loss Spells Trouble for Suburban Republicans

Congresswoman was first Republican in a competitive district to fall Tuesday night

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock lost her bid for a third term in the 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The defeat of Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock is a bad sign for other Republicans trying to hang on in well-educated, suburban districts where President Donald Trump is unpopular. 

Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton unseated the two-term Republican congresswoman Tuesday night. With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Wexton led Comstock 54 percent to 45 percent when The Associated Press called the race.

Comstock has survived tough races before. She over-performed the president in 2016, when Hillary Clinton carried the 10th District by 10 points. She’d worked to distance herself from Trump and her party, voting against the Republican health care bill last year. But that didn’t stop Democrats from tying her to the president on health care. She did vote for the GOP tax overhaul, which was another source of Democratic attacks.

Comstock was No. 4 on Roll Call’s latest ranking of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents. Also on the list were several other Republicans representing similarly suburban districts, where well-educated and affluent voters may be looking for a check on the president. Those Republicans include Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder and Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen

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