Vote for Linc or Else

VOTE FOR LINC OR ELSE….The Republican Party is certainly playing a bracing game of chicken here:

In an extraordinary pre-emptive announcement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has said it will concede Rhode Island to the Democrats should Stephen Laffey, the mayor of Cranston, defeat [Lincoln] Chafee in the primary. Citing poll data, Republican leaders said they saw no way someone as conservative as Mr. Laffey could win in a state as Democratic as this; as it is, they are increasingly worried about Mr. Chafee?s hopes in a general election.

It’s certainly the case that, in practice, national committees often cede races they know they can’t win. But has a preemptive declaration of defeat like this ever happened before?