The Democrats had their hopes dashed in a recent special election in North Carolina, and while it pained them to have to admit it, the person they most have to thank for their disappointing loss, is none other than President Donald J. Trump.
It was a major victory for both President Trump and national Republicans last week when North Carolina GOP state Sen. Dan Bishop won a fiercely contested special U.S. House election for the 9th District.
In a more easily won victory, another Republican House candidate, Greg Murphy, decisively won a separate special election in North Carolina’s more solidly GOP-leaning 3rd District earlier Tuesday evening.
The 9th District special election was seen by many as a bellwether for the President’s chances in the 2020 election, but both victories were frustrating to Democrats who spent millions trying to make a splash in the state.
Even Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Cheri Bustos was forced to acknowledge that the President contributed to Bishop’s win, writing in a statement, “We fell an inch short tonight, but it took more than $6 million in outside Republican spending and a last-minute Trump rally” to seal Democratic candidate Dan McCready’s fate in the 9th District.
McCready’s campaign spent approximately $4.7 million on the race, while Bishop’s spent only $1.9 million. Outside spending primarily from national party committees helped Bishop to the tune of $5.8 million, though, compared to McCready’s roughly $1.4 million.
The clean sweep in North Carolina heartened the President, who has long emphasized the national implications at stake. Trump unloaded on McCready in a fiery rally on the night before the special election, telling attendees that “to stop the far-left, you must vote in tomorrow’s special election.”
That effort, Trump said after Bishop’s victory was sure, had clearly paid dividends.
“Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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!”
He added: “BIG NIGHT FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!”
North Carolina Wins Mean Trouble for Dems in 2020
GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the wins spelled trouble for Democrats in 2020, and highlighted the importance of Republican National Committee (RNC) efforts in North Carolina — where the party will hold its national nominating convention in 2020.
“Despite being massively outspent by Democrats, @realDonaldTrump rallied voters and put Bishop over the top,” McDaniel said. “A huge win for the president and our grassroots field program that’s working hard to elect Republicans in 2020!”
Had the Democrat, McCready prevailed, it might have suggested GOP erosion and raised questions about Trump’s and his party’s viability for 2020.