Republican Dan Bishop came out victorious during Tuesday night's special election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District. Bishop narrowly beat out Democrat Dan McCready by a little more than two percent of the vote.
All eyes have been on this race because of the voter fraud that took place last fall.
North Carolina’s Ninth is, after all, a staunchly conservative district that’s been electing Republicans since the 1960s, and one President Donald Trump won by 12 points in 2016. Bishop’s win should have been relatively easy, but was overshadowed by the previous Republican candidate fielding allegations of ballot fraud and suburban voter pushback toward Trump. The fact that Bishop held onto the seat for Republicans will surely be a relief for the party.
Still, Republicans looking ahead to 2020 might worry about similar districts; the tight margin doesn’t bode well for competitive seats in suburban districts across the country. If anything, Bishop’s race suggests GOP candidates in these places should be concerned about maintaining any existing advantages they currently have.
Bishop stepped in after the previous candidate was consumed by a major scandal.
Bishop won the Republican primary for September’s special election after Mark Harris, the previous GOP candidate, declared that he wouldn’t pursue another run.
Harris, who had come out ahead of McCready by less than 1,000 votes last fall, was never certified as the official winner of the race due to allegations that emerged about absentee ballot tampering.
The Congressional Leadership Fund celebrated the news.
“Congratulations to Dan Bishop on his hard-fought victory in North Carolina’s special election,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement. “The results tonight are the clearest sign yet that the left’s embrace of socialism is putting even their strongest and best-funded candidates in dire jeopardy. Though McCready had the financial advantage at every turn, CLF mobilized quickly and made the investments needed to expose his self-dealing ways and turn out key Republican voters. We look forward to welcoming Dan Bishop to Congress in short order.”
According to CLF, they made early television and digital ad buys. When Bishop began lagging in the polls, CLF dropped an additional $400,000 for get out the vote efforts.
President Donald Trump stumped on behalf of Greg Murphy and Bishop on Monday night in a last ditch effort to encourage voters to get out and vote. Murphy also ended up winning his race.
Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the news:
Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night. Now it looks like he is going to win. @CNN & @MSNBC are moving their big studio equipment and talent out. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019