GOP barely wins House seat in North Carolina district they tried to steal last year


Democrat Dan McCready narrowly lost a North Carolina special election almost a year after Republican cheating marred the 2018 election.

Democrat Dan McCready narrowly lost a close North Carolina special election Tuesday night, losing to Republican Dan Bishop.

Bishop squeaked by, winning by 2 points in a district Republicans have held for more than half a century and tried to cheat to win in the 2018 midterm election.

"We fell an inch short tonight, but it took more than $6 million in outside Republican spending and a last-minute Trump rally to scrape by in a district that the President carried by 11.9 points," Rep. Cherri Bustos (D-IL), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

The race should not have been close, according to political experts.

No Democrat has held the seat since 1963. Both Mitt Romney and Trump carried the district by double digits in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Even North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who won in 2016, lost the district by 12 points.

Bishop's narrow victory is "still bad news for the House GOP overall," Dave Wasserman, an election expert with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said Tuesday night. "It won't do anything to convince House [Republicans] undecided about seeking reelection in 2020 that they're in position to win back the majority."

Before the results came in, Wasserman said that even if McCready lost by up to five points, it would "be a sign they're [Democrats] still over-performing 2016 by a margin consistent w/ keeping the House majority in 2020."

A special election was necessary after Republican operatives in 2018 engaged in such massive election fraud that the state determined a new election was necessary. McCready, a Marine veteran, was the Democratic candidate in the 2018 race and ran again in 2019.

Bishop, the author of North Carolina's infamous anti-LGBTQ "bathroom bill," won the new Republican primary and became the GOP standard-bearer in the district. His campaign was hindered when news resurfaced that he invested in a pro-white supremacy website.

Trump flew down to the district Monday night to hold a rally for Bishop after giving Bishop the same endorsement-by-tweet he gave at least 10 other Republicans over the past few years. Even with Trump's help, Bishop hobbled through Election Day with a mere 50.7% of the vote in the reliably red district.

"Tonight's razor-thin result in this ruby-red district solidifies the fact that Democrats are pushing further into Republican strongholds," Bustos said, "and are in a commanding position to protect and expand our House Majority in 2020."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.