Trump-backed Republican Dan Bishop narrowly wins in North Carolina special election

On Tuesday night, Republican Dan Bishop narrowly won the special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in a race that both parties had seen as having insights into the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump had won the Republican-leaning district by 12 points in 2016, but polls indicated a tight race in the district, which runs from south Charlotte to suburban Fayetteville.

State election officials had nullified the results of the 2018 race, citing details of election fraud to boost Republican Mark Harris over Democrat Dan McCready

As of the time of publication, the North Carolina State Board of Elections had Bishop leading McCready by about two percentage points, with all precincts reporting. 

McCready, a moderate Democrat, had campaigned on the slogan “country over party,” while Bishop had wholeheartedly embraced Trump. 

“WE DID IT,” Bishop wrote on Twitter, declaring victory in the election. 

WE DID IT #NC09!!!! Thank you North Carolina!!! ????????

North Carolina 9th district Republican congressional candidate Dan Bishop celebrates his victory in Monroe, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond) ORG XMIT: NCNR112 (Photo: Nell Redmond, AP)

Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had flown to North Carolina to campaign for Bishop. In his Fayetteville, N.C. rally on Monday night, Trump tied himself closely to Bishop’s candidacy, telling supporters that Democrats will “try and take it away” if voters didn’t give Republicans a victory in the district.  

“Tonight, we were not successful, but victory postponed is not defeat,” McCready wrote on Facebook after conceding the election. “The mission to unite our country doesn’t end here tonight. That mission continues.”

Trump, for his part, talked up his support for Bishop on Twitter, noting that Bishop was “down 17 points 3 weeks ago” before Bishop asked him for help.

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!

Both political parties see North Carolina as a swing state going into the 2020 election. Former President Barack Obama narrowly won the state in 2008, but the state has since swung towards Republicans in presidential elections since then. 

Contributing: David Jackson 

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