Politics

NRCC Cuts off Coffman in Colorado, Boosts Salazar in Florida

GOP’s prospects of holding Ros-Lehtinen’s seat appear to have improved

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is facing a tough re-election in Colorado’s 6th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Republicans’ campaign arm on Friday cut its reservation in what’s long been one of the most competitive districts in the country and redirected that money, plus some more, to a Florida district that wasn’t expected to be seriously in play several months ago.

The National Republican Campaign Committee cut a $1 million reservation in Colorado’s 6th District, where GOP Rep. Mike Coffman is running for re-election. A perennial Democratic target, Coffman has proved elusive in past cycles. But running against veteran Jason Crow in a favorable national environment for Democrats, he looks to be in trouble this year. Inside Elections With Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic

Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC backed by House GOP leadership, cut off Coffman last month. At the time, the NRCC upped its reservations in the district. But Friday’s triaging of that money suggests Republicans are now unified in their belief that Coffman is unlikely to win.

Instead of helping Coffman, the NRCC is now investing $1.5 million in Florida’s 27th District, an open seat that long looked favorable to Democrats.

While Hillary Clinton carried Colorado’s 6th by 9 points in 2016, Florida’s 27th backed her by 20 points. And with longtime moderate GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retiring, some Republicans conceded the district was lost earlier this year. But the contest has become much closer and is suddenly attracting outside spending from CLF, as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win control of the House, and they were counting on winning Ros-Lehtinen’s seat.

The 27th is a heavily Hispanic district, but the Democratic nominee, former Clinton Cabinet secretary Donna Shalala, does not speak Spanish. Republican Maria Elvira Salazar, a former former TV news anchor running with Ros-Lehtinen’s support, does. Both CLF and the DCCC have come in with Spanish-language ads this week.

Inside Elections rates the race Leans Democratic

Watch: 12 Ratings Changes for House, Senate and Gubernatorial Races — 4 Toward GOP, 8 Toward Democrats

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