Republican Dan Bishop narrowly won Tuesday’s do-over special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, defeating Democrat Dan McCready in an expensive race that had become nationalized. Republicans are crowing as if this is a big victory rather than a hold of a district Donald Trump won by 11 points in 2016—and Trump, of course, is crowing the loudest of all.
“Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago,” Trump claimed late Tuesday night. “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.”
No poll had Bishop down 17 points, and, following Trump’s tweet, Jake Sherman reported, “Dan Bishop said TODAY in Indian trail that he did not talk to the president and ask him for help. He said it was intermediaries, and indicated he didn’t know exactly who asked.” So, you know, two lies in one tweet—pretty much par for Trump’s course.
Tuesday’s results are a disappointment for Democrats, of course, but they’re far from giving Republicans any bragging rights. As Daily Kos Elections reported, “Bishop’s 2-point margin of victory was 9 points closer than Donald Trump’s 54-43 win here three years ago. That points to an electoral atmosphere that remains charged up in favor of Democrats, just as we saw in 2018. So far this year, in three dozen special elections tracked by Daily Kos Elections, Democrats are outperforming Hillary Clinton’s 2016 margins by 5.5 points, while generic congressional ballot polls show Democrats ahead by an average of more than 6 points.”