NC Special Election Results: Bishop Narrowly Holds Onto GOP Seat

CHARLOTTE, NC —After a nail-biting finish in a congressional race that has stretched nearly a year, voters in North Carolina’s 9th district chose to send Republican Dan Bishop to Congress. That’s according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s special election that offered final punctuation in a political saga that has lingered since November.

According to unofficial results, Bishop bested his Democratic challenger Dan McCready by about 2 percent of votes. In a district that has been solidly Republican since 1963 and won by President Trump by double digits, it was a razor-thin margin.

By 10 p.m., as final returns were still trickling in, the North Carolina GOP claimed victory on Bishop’s behalf.

“Congratulations to Dan Bishop on his impressive victory!,” NCGOP said. “The people of the 9th Congressional District sent a resounding message that they prefer a representative who will stand with President Trump and fight for their values in Congress.”

According to one political observer, the size of the win — or lack thereof — was bad news for House Republicans heading into the next election. “To be clear: a ~2% Bishop victory in NC09, a district that voted for Trump by 12 percent, is still bad news for the House GOP overall,” Dave Wasserman, who follows the U.S. House for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said in a tweet. “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.”

North Carolina voters were called back to the polls Sept. 10 to decide who will represent them in Congress after state election officials ordered a do-over election due to large scale ballot fraud in the 2018 election.

In addition to Bishop and McCready, Allen Smith of the Green Party and Libertarian Jeff Scott were also on the ballot to represent the district that stretches west of Charlotte from Union County into Bladen County.

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One election eve, President Trump added his thumb to the scale with a rally in Fayetteville aimed at drumming up support for Republican candidate Dan Bishop. The event followed a separate appearance in support of Bishop earlier in the day in Union County by Vice President Mike Pence.

For some voters, the prospect of McCready’s win felt ominous. “If Dan [Bishop] doesn’t win, it shows the president and vice president a message and it’s scary,” Republican voter Judy Kufert of Charlotte told the Charlotte Observer Tuesday. “We want Dan because we’re fighting against socialism.”

Self described life-long Republican Alex Diffey, 66, however, told the Charlotte Observer that “it was easy” to support Democrat Dan McCready in this race. “Republicans need to cross the line in the right case,” he said, adding, “And this is the right case.”

The North Carolina election is increasingly being seen as a referendum on Trump himself in a state that is considered a toss-up state, according to political observers.

“For Trump it’s important in terms of North Carolina and nationally that he shows that he has the clout to produce a good turnout,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, told the Charlotte Observer. “He needs to produce.”

Voters in North Carolina’s 3rd congressional district, which encompasses 17 counties along eastern North Carolina’s coastline, will also be casting their vote in a special election Sept. 10 to choose a replacement for Rep. Walter Jones, who died in February.

Early voting in both races was originally set to end Sept. 6, but was extended due to impacts of Hurricane Dorian.

Here are the unofficial results in both the NC-9 and NC-3 races, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections:

US House Of Representatives District 9 Ballot Count Percent

Dan Bishop – REP94,98450.81Dan Mcready – DEM90,82448.59Jeff Scott — LIB7560.4Allen Smith – GRE3640.19 US House of Representative District 3 Greg Murphy – REP65,96861.47Allen Thomas – DEM40,49737.73Greg Holt – CST4800.45Tim Harris – LIB3760.35