Republican Dan Bishop won a special election to the House of Representatives yesterday, beating Democrat challenger Dan McCready by two points: 50.7% to 48.7%.
On the surface, this is not at all an impressive victory. It is a seat Republicans have held for over half a century, and President Trump won the district by 12% in 2016.
But there’s a little more to this that has to be taken into account.
The reason a special election was held is that, in the regularly scheduled election of 2018, there was credible evidence of voter fraud that enabled then-Republican candidate Mark Harris, to “win” by a minuscule 905 votes. For this reason, the election was annulled and the new election called for.
So the most recent history for NC 9 is not a 12% presidential margin, but a virtual tie for the exact same seat decided yesterday -and, no doubt, an electorate unhappy with Republicans over the reason a special election was necessary.
Add in the fact that, in Dan McCready, Democrats found the closest candidate to a Republican they could (by today’s Democrat standards, McCready is a political conservative), plus the fact that, just a week or so ago, polling showed McCready ahead by 4% (46% to 42%)…
…and you had a seat poised to go Democrat, not Republican.
Was Donald Trump’s raucously successful Monday rally in Fayetteville the difference? No way to tell for sure. But since Bishop had tied his star firmly to Trump’s coattails, the probability is high that it was.
Bottom line: no matter how media try to downplay Bishop’s performance (and I watched both MSNBC and CNN do their best last night…along with the Associated Press article this morning), this is a satisfying win for Republicans, and a boost for President Trump.
UPDATE: This is incredible.
As of 7:35 – that’s over a half hour in – the Today Show has not mentioned the special election. I don’t mean they haven’t given it as full a story as might be expected, I mean they haven’t mentioned it. Not one word.
People who rely on the Today Show for news, therefore, have no idea this election even took place, let alone the results.
Do you think news of this election would be buried this deeply – or even at all – if Democrat McCready had won?