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Nick Lalota in the U.S. Capitol, on Sept. 14, 2023.
Nick Lalota in the U.S. Capitol, on Sept. 14, 2023.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file

Eyes on November: Biden-district Republicans navigate Trump support

House Republicans in Biden districts are navigating their support for Trump as he marches toward the GOP nomination.

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As former President Donald Trump marches forward to the Republican nomination, Republicans who represent districts President Joe Biden won in 2020 are starting to slowly jump on the Trump train. 

One lawmaker — New York GOP Rep. Nick LaLota offered his full-throated endorsement of Trump on Twitter last week. He represents a district Biden won by less than one point in 2020, according to a Daily Kos Elections analysis.

But some other House Republicans in Biden seats seem more hesitant to officially throw their support behind the Republican presidential frontrunner, saying generally that they’ll support the eventual Republican nominee. 

On Wednesday, Nebraska GOP Rep. Don Bacon, who represents a district Biden won by over six points, told the Nebraska Examiner at a Douglas County Republican Party event in Omaha that he would, “support the conservative position.” 

This was after he told attendees at the event, “I commit to the nominee.”

Bacon stopped short of fully endorsing Trump, just like Rep. John Duarte, R-Calif., and Rep. Brandon Williams, R-N.Y.

Duarte represents a district Biden won in 2020 by over 10 points and told Axios earlier this week, “I expect to ultimately endorse Donald Trump for president.”

Williams, who represents a district Biden won by over seven points in 2020, wrote on social media earlier this week that, “President Trump will be the Republican nominee for president … And I have always said our nominee will have my full support to turn this country around.”

In other campaign news … 

Friends like these: NBC News’ Matt Dixon, Jonathan Allen, Katherine Doyle and Allan Smith dig into the uncomfortable dynamic between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who endorsed Trump after he dropped out but has since taken some jabs at the former president.

MAGA money mayhem: Trump warned on his social media platform that anyone who donates to Haley “will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.” Hours earlier, CNBC’s Brian Schwartz scooped that billionaire Reid Hoffman has no plans to give Haley’s effort more cash after her loss in New Hampshire (Hoffman reportedly gave $250,000 to a pro-Haley super PAC, according to the New York Times). 

Haley’s haul: Haley said Wednesday she had raised $1million since she took the stage in New Hampshire Tuesday night, and her allied super PAC told reporters the pro-Haley effort is “prepared for a long-term battle,” NBC News’ Sarah Dean reports. 

Trump’s win in Maine: Maine’s secretary of state will have to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in about Trump’s eligibility for the ballot, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.  

Let’s do the timewarp again: Republican senators who had been trying to keep their distance from the GOP primary fight are coming to terms with the likelihood Trump will be their party’s nominee again. 

Let’s get it started: President Biden’s campaign manager told reporters Wednesday that the GOP presidential nomination is “all but locked up,” NBC News’ Rebecca Shabad reports, as the campaign pushes to make the election a binary choice between Trump and Biden. The White House also announced Wednesday that a Texas woman at the center of a high-profile battle over abortion in her state will be among the first lady’s guests at the State of the Union as Democrats look to keep the focus on the fight over abortion access. 

Political machine go vroom: The United Auto Workers endorsed Biden’s campaign Wednesday, months after he joined picketing UAW workers outside of Detroit. 

They doth protest: NBC’s Mike Memoli and Monica Alba broke the news Wednesday that Team Biden is working on a plan to confront the uptick in protests during his remarks, days after a steady drumbeat of protesters interrupted Biden calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. 

Scandal in Arizona: Arizona state GOP Chairman Jeff DeWit has resigned after the release of an audio recording of a conversation between him and Republican Senate hopeful Kari Lake, where he appears to offer her a job in exchange for sitting out of this year’s Senate race. DeWit has argued the tape is “selectively edited.”

Tester’s millions: Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s campaign says he raised $5.5 million last quarter

Anti-disinformation dollars: The House Democratic campaign arm is launching an initiative in seven different languages aimed at countering disinformation among communities of color, NBC News’ Kimmy Yam reports. 

Regretful rematch: NBC’s Chuck Todd explores the stages of grief facing voters who dread a rematch between Biden and Trump.