In the last undecided race of the 2018 mid term elections for the U.S. House, Republican Dan Bishop was the winner in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District on Tuesday night, as Republicans overcame a wave of financial help for Democrat Dan McCready, keeping the seat in GOP hands.
Republicans had originally won this seat in 2018 with a different candidate, Mark Harris - who won over McCready by just under a thousand votes. But that result was tossed out after substantial evidence of GOP absentee ballot election fraud was uncovered after the elections.
Republicans also won a second special election in North Carolina on Tuesday night, as Greg Murphy won a comfortable victory in the Third district, replacing Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), who died in February.
The Bishop win was a relief for national Republicans, especially after a late visit by both the President and Vice President on Monday - as the President basked in the glow of GOP victory at the White House.
BREAKING: RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — GOP's Dan Bishop wins North Carolina congressional seat with boost from Trump after ballot fraud forced do-over election.— Stephen Ohlemacher (@stephenatap) September 11, 2019
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 to talent out. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
But while the GOP won this district - which stretched from the east side of Charlotte over to I-95 along the border with South Carolina - there were still warning signs overall for the GOP in terms of the fight for Congress.
While Bishop won, he did not come close to the margin of victory by President Trump in that same district in 2016, as the President won by 11.6 percent.
That's the type of special election results in Congress which we saw in 2017 and then in the 2018 mid-terms, where increased Democratic enthusiasm and turn out was enough to knock out GOP incumbents - but not enough for a dramatic drubbing at the polls.
While Democrats did better in the suburbs, Republicans were able to offset that with better turnout in rural areas - that will be the basic battle in 2020 as President Trump runs for re-election.
To be clear: a ~2% Bishop (R) victory in #NC09, a district that voted for Trump by 12%, is still bad news for the House GOP overall.— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 11, 2019
It won't do anything to convince House Rs undecided about seeking reelection in 2020 that they're in position to win back the majority.
If current trend in NC-9 continues, here’s a fair summary. Rs should be happy because a win is a win & they keep the seat they’ve had since 1963. Ds should be happy because they made competitive a district Romney and Trump won by 12%; their ‘18 suburban gains continue.— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) September 11, 2019
The pair of GOP victories in North Carolina will leave the House at 235 Democrats, 199 Republicans, and 1 Independent.