House GOP star among Republicans facing unexpected challenge

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Cathy McMorris Rodgers has never lost a race in her U.S. House district in Washington. The Republican has never even received less than 56 percent of the vote.

So it seemed unusual when the national GOP set up shop in Spokane 10 months before Election Day to bolster her re-election bid. The move suggests that, with Donald Trump in the White House, once-safe Republicans may need all the help they can get.

McMorris Rodgers, the only woman in House GOP leadership, is among several Republicans facing tough re-election battles.

Trump’s low approval ratings, and rising Democratic enthusiasm, have many Republicans braced for a beating in the midterm elections in November. The worry has spread from swing districts to areas once considered out of reach for Democrats, such as McMorris Rodgers’ eastern Washington district held by a Republican for nearly 25 years.