POLITICO: National Republicans take step back from SC-1 race

WASHINGTON (WCIV) -- National Republicans are walking away from the hotly contested South Carolina 1st District race between Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, according to a report from POLITICO.

The report says the National Republican Congressional Committee has opted not to contribute any more money to the former governor's campaign ahead of the May 7 election. The POLITICO report says the NRCC has concluded "(Sanford) has no plausible path to victory."

NRCC representatives confirmed the report to ABCNews4 Wednesday afternoon.

"Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election," said Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman, to POLITICO.

The decision to withdraw from assistance comes less than 24 hours after the Associated Press released a story that Sanford's ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, had filed suit against him in a trespassing incident that happened in February.

"It is the last thing Sanford wants to be talking about. So much of the campaign has been about restoring trust with the voters," political analyst Gibbs Knotts said.

According to POLITICO reporter Alex Isenstadt, the NRCC was considering spending millions of dollars on the 1st District race, but reversed course after the news of Sanford's latest incident was released.

"This is an unfortunate situation but this is what happens when candidates aren't honest and withhold information," one GOP operative told POLITICO.

Knotts said it could affect him in the polls May 7.

"He'd have to worry if it will affect turnout," he said.{}"Are there going to be fewer republicans that are going to show up because they're disappointed in Sanford?"

In a Public Policy Polling poll taken late last month, it found Sanford and Colbert Busch in a virtual dead heat with Colbert Busch having much greater favorability ratings among voters.

Knotts also emphasized Jenny Sanford's influence in South Carolina politics.

"It reminds people of the previous situation. Every poll I've ever seen since split has shown that she's more popular than he is," he said.

Sanford is due in court for his trespassing complaint May 9.